William (Bill) L. Daly (born May 1, 1964), was named the National Hockey League’s first-ever Deputy Commissioner by Commissioner Gary B. Bettman on July 22, 2005—an appointment that was unanimously endorsed by the NHL’s Board of Governors. Daly’s appointment came after serving for more than eight years as the League’s Chief Legal Officer during which time he played a major role in helping to shape the National Hockey League’s identity on the global sports landscape.
In his current role, Mr. Daly is the chief consultant to Commissioner Bettman on virtually every topic impacting the League. Principal among his duties is negotiating and administering the League’s Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) with the NHL Players’ Association (NHLPA) and with the NHL Officials’ Association (NHLOA). In 2004-05, and again in 2012-13, Mr. Daly was the League’s lead negotiator in CBA negotiations with the NHLPA. Due in large part to the economic framework established and later improved upon in collective bargaining, the NHL has experienced unprecedented competitive balance and record revenue growth, and has reached an all-time high in terms of the health and popularity of the game. In addition to his continued oversight of the NHL Legal Department, Mr. Daly is involved in, and ultimately responsible for, virtually all other areas of the League’s business and operations.
Mr. Daly is the principal liaison and caretaker for the NHL’s relationship with the international hockey community. He oversees the NHL’s participation in all international hockey competitions, including the Olympics, the World Cup of Hockey, NHL Premiere Series, and the IIHF World Hockey Championships. In that role, he was responsible for the NHL’s successful involvement in the 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 Olympic Winter Games, brokering all of the necessary agreements with the International Ice Hockey Federation and NHL Players’ Association that were needed to facilitate NHL player participation in each of those Tournaments. Mr. Daly also negotiates and administers the NHL’s Player Transfer Agreements with nearly all of the major European Ice Hockey Federations pursuant to which international players wishing to transfer to North America to play in the NHL are able to do so.
Mr. Daly is also the point person for the League’s dealings with the American Hockey League, the Canadian Hockey League, Hockey Canada and USA Hockey and is responsible for negotiating and administering the necessary working agreements related to those relationships. Mr. Daly supervises the NHL/NHLPA Program for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health and serves as the NHL’s representative on the Program Committee responsible for governing the League’s Performance Enhancing Substances Program.
Mr. Daly also was responsible for helping to create and administer the first-ever NHL/NHLPA Rookie Orientation Program in 2013. Jointly developed and executed by the NHL and NHLPA, the Program is designed to assist young NHL Players in becoming better professionals on and off the ice. Mr. Daly serves as President of the NHL Foundation—the organization responsible for administering and directing charitable dollars and initiatives for the League and its Clubs—and also serves on the Board for the NHL Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund. Mr. Daly also represents the NHL on the Lester Patrick Award Selection Committee, the Board of Directors for the Hockey Hall of Fame, and the Board of Directors for USA Hockey.
Beyond his duties with the NHL, Mr. Daly serves as a board member for the Sports Lawyers Association and has also served on boards for the Sports Development Corporation of the City of New York, and the Sports Law and Antitrust Law Committees of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Mr. Daly regularly lectures on, and has authored a number of articles addressing, legal issues relating to professional sports. In September 2013, Mr. Daly was selected as one of the Legal 500’s Corporate Counsel 100. He has also been recognized by the Irish Voice publication on its “Irish Legal 100” List (2010 and 2011) and its “Irish Sports 50” List (2013), as well as by the SportsBusiness Journal as a three-time Forty Under 40 Award winner (2002, 2003, 2004).
Prior to joining the NHL on December 13, 1996, Mr. Daly spent six years as an attorney with the New York law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP. His focus with Skadden was litigation, antitrust and labor issues relating to sports. While at Skadden, Mr. Daly represented the National Football League and the National Basketball Association (in addition to the National Hockey League) on a variety of legal and collective bargaining matters.
Mr. Daly, 49, is a graduate of Dartmouth College, where he played varsity football, and New York University School of Law. He is married to his wife Gloria and has three children, Taylor, Brendan and Liam. Mr. Daly is a lifelong resident of New Jersey and currently resides in Fairfield, NJ. He is a big fan of the Miami Dolphins.
Daly was born in 1964 to an American father and Canadian born mother, raised in New Jersey.
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