The National Hockey League (NHL) reports that Gil Stein, the final president in League history, has passed away at the age of 94.
Stein’s passing, according to the NHL, occurred on Thursday. The cause, however, has yet to be revealed. He had been living in an assisted living community in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania.
Who was Stein?
Stein’s background was in the law, having graduated from Boston University’s law school in the 1950s. After passing the bar, he worked in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he ended up joining a law firm that did work for the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers.
In 1976, Stein became the Flyers’ executive vice president and chief operating officer. But, Stein’s upward trajectory didn’t stop there.
Stein ended up being moved to the NHL’s office in New York. He would spend 15 years there as the NHL’s vice president and general counsel under NHL President John Ziegler. And, when Ziegler called in quits in the early 1990s, Stein became the NHL president – the final one.
Not long, thereafter, Gary Bettman was named the NHL’s first commissioner, and Stein, for a short period, served as Bettman’s adviser. But, Stein retired not long thereafter, in 1993.
From there, Stein went on to work as a special counsel to the U.S. Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence and then to work as a special assistant to Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, who was a Republican at the time. Stein ended his career teaching sports law at Villanova University.
Statements on Stein’s passing
Both Bettman and the Flyers released statements following the announcement of Stein’s death.
“The National Hockey League mourns the passing of Gil Stein, a distinguished attorney, and advocate for the game who served as the fifth and final NHL President,” Bettman wrote. He added, “We send our deepest condolences to his family, his many friends, and all throughout the game who worked with him.”
The Flyers released a similar statement, saying, “The Philadelphia Flyers are mourning the passing of Philadelphia native and former team executive Gil Stein.”
“After a career in public service here in Philadelphia, Gil served the Flyers organization in key roles before moving on to the National Hockey League, where he spent 15 years as an executive and became NHL President from 1992-93,” the statement continues. “The Flyers organization extends our thoughts and prayers to the Stein family.”
Stein is survived by his wife and three children.