NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly will be honored by the Business of Hockey Institute on Nov. 17, when they will be awarded the honorary designation of Certified Hockey Professional.
They will receive the honorary designations for their contributions to the business of hockey during the 2019 PrimeTime Sports and Entertainment Conference, which will take place in Toronto in conjunction with Hockey Hall of Fame weekend.
"I'm honored to receive this recognition alongside my friend, colleague and confidante Bill Daly," Commissioner Bettman said. "The NHL's growth over the last three decades is a testament to our incredible fans, the hard work of thousands of League and club employees, committed team owners and the most skilled hockey players in the world."
Bettman, who took office on Feb. 1, 1993, as the first NHL Commissioner, has been the driving force behind the League's explosive growth. Under his guidance, the NHL has grown from 24 to 32 teams (Seattle, the 32nd franchise, will begin play in the 2021-22 season), with League revenue growing tenfold. Attendance has grown by more than 7 million fans per season during the tenure of Commissioner Bettman, and television revenue and exposure have increased from long-term agreements with NBC in the United States (10 years, $2 billion) and Sportsnet in Canada (10 years, $5.2 billion).
Under Commissioner Bettman's leadership, the NHL has also introduced a calendar of signature events -- including outdoor games (the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the NHL Stadium Series, and the Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic) -- that have driven fan engagement and sponsor participation to unprecedented levels. Commissioner Bettman was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November 2018.
Daly was appointed Deputy Commissioner in 2005 and has been Bettman's chief consultant on the League's operation and business during the past 14 years, playing a major role in shaping the NHL's economic framework and international identity. He was a key player in the NHL labor negotiations in 2004, which ultimately concluded with a Collective Bargaining Agreement that implemented revolutionary changes, including a salary cap. Daly has also led the League's international growth strategy, which includes bringing the NHL to China for preseason games in 2017 and 2018.
"I'm truly humbled to receive this distinguished award with the Commissioner, but it's been Gary's leadership and commitment to growing the game of hockey that has truly elevated the business since I've been at the National Hockey League," Deputy Commissioner Daly said. "It is a privilege to work in this game, and at the same time, to work alongside someone I admire so greatly and who has been such a wonderful mentor to me. I give sincere thanks to everyone in the hockey community for their contributions in making this the best sport in the world."
The honorary CHP designation recognizes individuals who have made off-ice contributions to their organizations that have earned the respect of their peers in other hockey-related organizations.
"The leadership of Gary Bettman and Bill Daly now presents to the world of entertainment strong ownership, a new generation of facilities, a spectacular competitive product, labor peace, television and social media access, a North American footprint that continues to expand and a significant and growing international presence," Business of Hockey Institute chairman Herb Pinder said. "It is for these reasons and more, that BHI is awarding this year's honorary CHP to Gary Bettman and Bill Daly. They exhibit the qualities of management and leadership towards which every BHI graduate should aspire."