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Dave Tippett (left), former NHL head coach and current advisor to Seattle’s new NHL franchise, Partners, with Todd Humphrey, who is leaving LiquidPlanner to join the team’s front office. (Seattle Hockey Partners Photo)

Todd Humphrey is getting back to his hockey roots.

Humphrey is leaving his position as CEO of Seattle startup LiquidPlanner and will join Seattle’s new pro hockey franchise as its senior vice president of digital and fan experience.

Humphrey took the reins at LiquidPlanner, a project management company founded more than 12 years ago, in November 2017. He previously co-founded Toronto healthcare startup League and sold Seattle-based CleverSet to ATG in 2008.

He’ll be replaced at LiquidPlanner by Ted Hawksford, a veteran of Microsoft, Fluke, Booking.com, and most recently Restaurants Unlimited, where he led human resources.

The NHL recently approved a Seattle expansion franchise that will begin play in 2021. Humphrey will be apart of the team’s front office — also known as Seattle Hockey Partners, or NHL Seattle — and lead technology-related integrations.

The new gig will combine two passions — tech and hockey — for Humphrey, a former pro hockey player in Canada.

“Joining this team at this moment is a once-in-a-lifetime role for me,” Humphrey said in a statement. “We have an enormous opportunity to shape a new technology experience for our fans and our hockey operations.”

Humphrey is not the only NHL Seattle leader with tech chops. Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy is part of the team’s ownership group, as is Adrian Hanauer, the Seattle Sounders FC majority owner and longtime tech investor.

New LiquidPlanner CEO Ted Hawksford. (LinkedIn Photo)

The team will play at a redeveloped KeyArena beginning in the 2021-22 season, just a few blocks away from Amazon’s headquarters and offices of other tech giants such as Google and Facebook. The $800 million renovation project, managed by Oak View Group (parent of Seattle Hockey Partners), began in December.

The owners have previously discussed Amazon and how its 45,000 employees in Seattle could serve as a potential built-in fan base. Last year Oak View Group chief Tim Leiweke told GeekWire that he met with Amazon about potentially integrating something similar to the checkout-less Amazon Go concept at the renovated arena.

Oak View Group ran a season ticket drive in May that racked up 33,000 deposits in one day. The team name is still undecided. The team will practice at a new training facility as part of a Northgate development.

LiquidPlanner, meanwhile, increased revenue and reached profitability under Humphrey’s leadership. The company raised $2 million in November.

“I’m incredibly excited to join the LiquidPlanner team,” Hawksford said in a statement. “LiquidPlanner has a strong user base, a well-established product, dedication to technology innovation and a talented, purpose-driven team. The company is poised to do some really interesting things in the space that I am drawn to. I’m honored to join the LiquidPlanner team and look forward to working with the amazing team to build upon and accelerate its success.”

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