William (Bill) L. Daly, 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, many other areas of the League’s business and hockey operations.
Mr. Daly played a major role in two of the largest and most significant commercial contracts with television rightsholders in the history of the League. In 2011, he oversaw negotiations on a historic 10-year U.S. national rights agreement with NBC Sports Group, which delivers more NHL regular season games nationally than ever before to U.S. fans via a combination of the NBC over-the-air platform and NBC Sports Network, NBC’s newly created sports cable channel. In addition, the NBC Agreement provides NHL fans in the U.S. full national coverage of every Stanley Cup Playoff game for the first time ever. In 2013, Mr. Daly again played a lead role in negotiating a 12-year Canadian national broadcast and new media deal with Rogers Communications pursuant to which NHL fans in Canada will have access to more NHL content delivered on more platforms than ever before in the history of the game in that country.
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, the IIHF World Hockey
Championships, NHL Global Series and NHL China Games. Mr. Daly is responsible for the
NHL’s 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 these
tournaments. In addition, Mr. Daly brokered the NHL negotiations that led the League to cohost,
alongside the NHLPA, the 2016 World Cup of Hockey after a 12 year hiatus. In 2017, Mr. Daly
spearheaded the League’s international strategy that brought NHL players to China for the firstever
preseason games in Beijing and Shanghai as well as the League’s return to Europe to play
regular season games in Sweden for the first time since 2011. 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 leads the League’s dealings with the NHL Alumni Association, 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
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 Board of Directors for the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Board of Directors for USA Hockey.
Mr. Daly played a major role in founding and administering 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. In addition, Mr. Daly pioneered the launch of the NHL/NHLPA Core Development
Program, which aims to promote and facilitate healthy and productive lives for all Players during
their NHL careers, and assist in their transition to life and their post-playing careers.
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; and in September 2014, he was awarded the Legal 500 Individual of the Year: Sport. Also
in September 2014, Mr. Daly was named a recipient of the Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding
service to hockey in the United States. He was 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, the National Basketball Association and the National
Hockey League on a variety of legal and collective bargaining matters.
Mr. Daly, 54, 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 life-long resident of New Jersey and currently resides in
Fairfield, NJ. He is a big fan of the Miami Dolphins.