TORONTO -- National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly were acknowledged for their contributions to hockey when each was awarded an honorary Certified Hockey Professional designation by the Business of Hockey Institute during a ceremony at the Westin Harbor Castle on Sunday.
Herb Pinder, the BHI chairman, said Commissioner Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Daly were chosen as this year's inductees because of the impact each has had on the sport and the example they've set for potential future hockey executives, including the 35 being trained through their Certified Hockey Professional curriculum and an MBA program offered in collaboration with Athabasca University.
"The people that receive these awards are role models for the students at BHI," Pinder said after the ceremony. "If you can be like these [recipients], maybe you can be successful too."
Commissioner Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Daly each used his acceptance remarks to lay out a road map to success.
"I think for both of us to get into the positions we [have], you needed some good luck, some good timing and the opportunity has to present itself," said Commissioner Bettman, who joined the League in his current position in 1993. "But anything you are going to do requires hard work, a good education, mastering whatever your subject matter is and, perhaps more important than anything else, you have to have a passion for what you do because you can't do all the other things because you won't have the energy to put in to whatever it is unless the passion is there."
Deputy Commissioner Daly, who joined the League in 1996 as Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs and was named to his current position in 2005, also discussed the importance of having passion in his remarks but stressed a commitment to doing what he believes is right as one the guiding principles of success.
"When you really feel strongly about something, believe in something, don't be afraid to take risks," Deputy Commissioner Daly told the crowd. "When I was writing my college applications, they asked about a saying that I lived by and, actually somebody else came up with it, but I adopted it: 'True success only comes only with risk of failure.'"
Pinder said the enthusiasm each brings to his position and the remarkable growth the NHL has enjoyed under their stewardship made Commissioner Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Daly the ideal honorees.
Since Bettman became Commissioner, the NHL has grown from 24 to 31 teams, with League revenue growing by approximately $4.6 billion during that span. The NHL's visibility has also grown through long-term, lucrative, national broadcast rights agreements in the United States and Canada.
A calendar of signature events, including several outdoor games, have provided the opportunity for additional fan and sponsorship engagement.
More recently, the NHL has been aggressive in expanding its global footprint, returning to Europe on a regular basis to host regular-season games and playing preseason games in China.
"Passion, gratitude, humility, management skills, leadership," Pinder said when asked about the qualities of an honorary CHP designee. "Management is important, but to have a vision and be able to inspire other to follow it, not everybody has that. They do."