Bob Riley Named Recipient of 2018 PHPA Curt Leichner Distinguished Member Award

Author: Darryl Dionne, PHPA Director of Communications and Business Development
Date: Feb 9, 2018

(Niagara Falls, ON) The Professional Hockey Players’ Association (PHPA) is pleased to announce that Bob Riley has been selected as the 2018 recipient of the PHPA Curt Leichner Distinguished Member Award as voted by the PHPA Executive Committee.

The award, named in honor of former PHPA Executive Director, Curt Leichner, is presented annually to a member of the hockey community who has made significant contributions towards the advancement of professional minor league hockey, and has continued to diligently serve the sport.

Since being retained by the PHPA in 2001 to serve as Legal Counsel, Riley has assisted the PHPA with the successful completion of twelve (12) Collective Bargaining Agreements, as well as countless disputes and grievances.  Riley was the legal strategist in the successful organizing drive which led to player-union representation in the Central Hockey League (CHL) in 2008, and helped negotiate provisions which led to the consolidation of the CHL and ECHL in 2014.  He has helped advance and protect the rights of thousands of professional hockey players throughout his tenure with the PHPA.

“We would not be where we are today as an Association without the guidance of Bob Riley,” said PHPA Executive Director Larry Landon.  “He’s been the voice of reason, a calming influence, all while keeping the best interest of the players at the forefront.  This is a much deserved recognition from our Executive Committee who has had the privilege of working alongside Bob and experiencing first hand the impact and value he brings to the Association.”

“It is extraordinarily rewarding to be recognized, although never had I envisioned that my contributions would receive this type of recognition,” said Bob Riley.  “I am absolutely indebted to the PHPA for the work which it has shared with me, and many thanks to the Executive Committee and Membership for this distinguished honor.”

Riley is the Founder and Managing Partner of Riley & Hurley, P.C., and was previously retained by the National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) from 1993 to 2007 where he consulted in collective bargaining, salary arbitration hearings, and prepared and argued grievances.  He continues to serve as General Counsel for the North American Hockey League (NAHL) where he was named NAHL Executive of the Year in 2004, and has received numerous professional accolades and awards throughout his accomplished career.

Riley will be presented with the Award this June during the 2018 PHPA Annual Meeting of Player Representatives.  Previous recipients of the Award include Doug Messier (2008), Don Cherry and Ron MacLean (2009), Arlo Goodwin (2010), Darcy Regier (2011), Ron Jaros (2012), Claude Julien (2013), Ted Nolan (2014), Karen Bender (2015), Rick Gorman and Phil Mazzone (2016), and Brad Treliving (2017).

Related article: A much deserved recognition for PHPA attorney Bob Riley


About the PHPA

Since its inception in 1967, the Professional Hockey Players’ Association (PHPA) has continued to serve as an advocate of player interests.  Currently, the PHPA is the certified, U.S. National Labor Relations Board collective bargaining representative for over 1,500 players across 57 teams throughout the American Hockey League and ECHL. 

The PHPA officially launched its 50th Anniversary on June 17th, 2017 in Orlando, Florida during the Association’s Annual Meeting of Player Representatives.  The celebrations will continue throughout the 2017-18 season with various events and initiatives planned including a 50th Anniversary video, a 6-page feature in The Hockey News, as well as the raffle of a custom built Harley-Davidson motorcycle with all proceeds split between 5 charitable causes.  Visit, follow the PHPA on Facebook and Twitter (@thephpa), register for the PHPA Insider E-Newsletter.

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