Marc Gosselin, the general manager of the Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn, will leave his position to take a job with the Columbus Blue Jackets, a professional ice hockey team based in Columbus, Ohio.

AUBURN — After nearly two years as general manager of the Norway Savings Bank Arena, Marc Gosselin has been called up to the big leagues.

In two weeks, Gosselin will leave for his new position in the front office of the Columbus Blue Jackets, a professional ice hockey team based in Columbus, Ohio.

A lifelong passion for hockey has led him to the sport’s biggest stage. 

“Breaking into the NHL has always been a dream of mine,” Gosselin said in a news release Tuesday. “This is an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up.”

Gosselin, who grew up in Lewiston, began his sports business career working for the Lewiston Maineiacs. In the years that followed, he worked for the Portland Pirates, Central Maine Community College, and before coming to Auburn, spent five seasons with the Maine Red Claws, Portland’s professional minor league basketball team.

He will be working for the Blue Jackets in their Corporate Partnership Department, largely the same role he has had in his previous jobs, but on a much larger scale, he said. Gosselin’s title was also executive director of sports tourism at the Norway Savings Bank Arena.

He said that when the city announced his new job early Tuesday, he was flooded with phone calls and messages.

“It’s crazy to have so many people reach out and say congratulations,” he said. 

According to Acting City Manager Denis D’Auteuil, Gosselin is leaving the Norway Savings Bank Arena on Turner Street in very good shape.

“His experience was apparent day one,” he said of hiring Gosselin, adding that he “hit the ground running” in creating new activity and corporate sponsorships at the arena. 

He mentioned the recent news of attracting the Maine RV Camping Show to the arena as an example of Gosselin’s work to “diversify” the revenues coming to the city. 

“We set some lofty goals for him coming in to diversify revenues the best he could, and he did a great job,” he said. “He set us down a really great path.” 

Norway Savings Bank Arena, which opened in 2013, is the only one in the state to feature dual rinks. In between is a 5,000-square-foot mezzanine. Gosselin said he’s proud of growing the revenue streams while increasing use of the ice rinks. 

Local youth teams, the Maine Gladiators (USA Hockey Tier II, III, and IV) and five high school varsity programs are based at the arena. He said the arena is “slammed during prime hours.” 

The arena also hosts local events, including the annual Auburn Public Services open house and the road rally event hosted in the parking lot in July. 

Gosselin said coming into the Auburn job was like “coming full circle,” after getting his start with the Maineiacs. He said now he’s looking forward to new challenges that will face him in Ohio. 

He said he recently heard of a job opening in the Columbus Blue Jackets organization, and applied, but it was already filled. Soon after, the organization urged him to throw his name in for another position that came up, and he was offered the job. 

“The toughest part is a new market,” he said. “I’m going to have to get entrenched in the area, but it’s exciting to think I’ll be working in that environment, at the NHL level.”  

The Columbus Blue Jackets are in the midst of one of their best seasons since becoming an NHL expansion team in 2000. When Gosselin starts in Columbus on Feb. 21, the team will be pushing toward the playoffs. 

He said with a positive season comes positive energy from the community. 

Jason Paquin, the current Assistant General Manager at Norway Savings Bank Arena, will serve as acting GM when Gosselin leaves for Ohio.

“Jason is more than ready,” Gosselin said in Tuesday’s news release. “He has a tremendous work ethic and a real passion for this place.”

Gosselin said he’s happy to see how proud people are to have the arena in Auburn. 

“I see only bright things ahead for Norway,” Gosselin said of the arena. “There are so many people who care about it, who are committed to it: The staff here, the people who use the facility, our corporate partners — we are moving in the right direction, with some good momentum.”

As for the move to Columbus and the NHL, he said he’s “super excited.”

“It’s a different ballgame,” he said.  

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