ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Peter Luukko has a pretty good idea of what he is going to do Tuesday morning when he awakes in his house in West Chester.
“I’m going to clean out my garage,” said the 54-year-old who resigned Monday as president of Comcast-Spectacor (see story).
The news stunned the entire Comcast empire, including Flyers chairman Ed Snider, who found out himself early Monday morning.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to cash out on the business at a good time,” Luukko said. “It gives me an opportunity at 54 to be comfortable and build new opportunities and make another run.”
Luukko had been with Comcast-Spectacor for over 25 years.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity Ed gave me and I know the organization will move on and grow without me.
“The public sees the Flyers side of me, but I actually spend about 80 percent of my time with our other companies.
“They were important and we built them to the point where they had some value and why not cash out at an age where you can enjoy it?
“Now I can spend some time with my family and watch my boys [Nick and Max] play hockey.”
Even allowing for that, Luukko was the heir-apparent to succeed Snider, who is still as sharp a businessman as there is at age 80 overseeing Comcast-Spectacor as chairman.
“I will definitely do something else, I will make a run at something,” Luukko said. “But I think from the value standpoint, this is a good position for me. Being with it so long, you have to think about that. That’s why I decided this was the right thing to do.”
Luukko said Snider took it well.
“It was mutual,” he said. “Ed has had a number of executives over the years and certainly knows this business. There’s a great number of people that work in this organization that all do a very good job. That made it very easy for me to run all these companies. Solid people.”
As for general manager Paul Holmgren, Luukko said he wasn’t sure he “absorbed” it yet.
Luukko said, contrary to rumors, he has “nothing” in line for the future.
“That’s the good thing because I need to really clear my head and think about that next decision on what is the next, good thing to do,” he said. “I love operating and rolling up my sleeves and getting my hands dirty. I’m looking forward to a single focus at some point.”
Asked about speculation he might get into broadcast management in hockey or expansion teams, or some other off-shoot of the sport, he replied, “It could be all the above but right now, I’ve got nothing.”
Luukko said his wife, Casey, understood his decision and agreed with him that the timing was good to move on while cutting back on his workload with good health.
His son, Nick, a Flyers prospect, was “shocked.”
“Nick has been around the Flyers so long, and we talked many times over the years and he understands that this is a business,” Luukko said. “This was a good, solid business decision.”
Asked whether he felt he had achieved as much as he could in his current job, Luukko said, “You never feel that. You always feel you can grow. It was just the timing. And there is more grow with Comcast-Spectacor.”
He said he plans to do some traveling in the weeks ahead to watch his two sons play hockey.