Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Business & Economics Management

Business the NHL Way

Lessons from the Fastest Game on Ice

by (author) Norm O'Reilly & Rick Burton

foreword by Gary Bettman

afterword by Hayley Wickenheiser

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2022
Management, Leadership, Hockey
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2022
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Aug 2022
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2023
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Business the NHL Way draws on hockey-inspired stories to show how brands, institutions, and individuals associated with the NHL have consistently survived a variety of challenges and thrived as a result of its decisions. This revised and expanded edition explores business-related scenarios from the sport of hockey and links each lesson back to business, leadership, diversity, management, and sport outcomes.


Using ice hockey as an analogy for life, Norm O’Reilly and Rick Burton – leaders in the business of sports and former amateur hockey players – inform business and industry professionals on best practices to achieve strategic outcomes and career advancement. The book aims to help businesses emerge from the financial and health disruptions of the global COVID-19 pandemic that not only altered the future of hockey but threatened business sustainability in every sector. Business the NHL Way will appeal to both casual and passionate hockey fans, as well as anyone eager to follow in the footsteps of a successful professional sports organization.

About the authors

Norm O’Reilly is dean of the Graduate School of Business at the University of Maine. He is a regular columnist for Sports Business Journal and the lead researcher on the Canadian Sponsorship Landscape Study. He was assistant chef de mission for the Canadian Paralympic Team in 2016 and was a member of the 2004, 2008, and 2010 mission staff for the Canadian Olympic Team. He is minority owner and partner consultant with the Toronto-based agency T1, with clients including Nike, UFC, Pepsi, Nissan, Esso/Exxon, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, and Hockey Canada. He acts as a specialist on legal cases and has sat on the boards of many sport organizations. He has authored or co-authored numerous books, including Sports Business Management: Decision Making around the Globe and 20 Secrets to Success for NCAA Student-Athletes Who Won’t Go Pro

Norm O'Reilly's profile page

Rick Burton is the David B. Falk Professor of Sport Management at Syracuse University and Syracuse’s faculty athletics representative to the NCAA and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). He is a regular columnist for Sports Business Journal and Sportico, and has been a longtime moderator for global sports business conferences. He previously served as the national advertising manager for Miller Lite, vice president of Clarion Performance Properties, chief marketing officer of the U.S. Olympic Committee, and commissioner of Australia’s National Basketball League. His consultancy Burton Marketing Group has handled international clients for more than twenty years, with clients including the NHL, Visa, FedEx, and Nike. He is co-author of numerous books, including Forever Orange: The Story of Syracuse University, 20 Secrets to Success for NCAA Student-Athletes Who Won’t Go Pro, and Sports Business Unplugged: Leadership Challenges from the World of Sports.

Rick Burton's profile page

Gary Bettman's profile page


Hayley Wickenheiser is the captain of the Canadian women's hockey team. Besides her four Olympic medals, she owns six World Cup gold medals and two silver. Wickenheiser was born in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, where the local sportsplex has been renamed in her honour. She lives in Calgary, Alberta.


Hayley Wickenheiser's profile page

Other titles by