Bill Daly says he feels fine and has fully recovered after getting COVID-19 last month.
The NHL’s deputy commissioner made the revelation Wednesday during a taping of The Athletic’s Hockey Show podcast with Scott Burnside and TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun.
Daly, 56, was asked about the long hours he put in to help negotiate the Return to Play protocols package for the 2020-21 season, a deal that was finally announced just before the holidays after non-stop days of talks between the NHL and NHL Players’ Association to put it together.
Then, on Dec. 24, he got the news.
“On Christmas Eve night, I received word that I tested positive for COVID,’’ Daly said on the podcast. “At least it was on the eve of what was a less work-filled weekend. I got to sleep in a little later on Friday morning and Saturday morning than I normally would have.
“I was only mildly symptomatic. After 10 days I got out of isolation. I didn’t feel perfect, but I’m certainly back to full health now. Again, I think timing-wise it probably happened for me at the best time it possibly could have because I was able to balance it with my workload.’’
Asked again how he felt now, he reiterated he was fine.
“Yeah, no, I feel really good, very healthy,’’ Daly said. “It’s been … it will be three weeks tomorrow that I received word. The normal period that they keep you in isolation is 10 days unless you’re symptomatic and you stay in a little longer. I stayed out of the office for two full weeks.
“I had a family situation here with my wife and my 11-year-old. My 11-year-old son also tested positive a week after I did, which kept us all in the house for a long time. But so far my wife is all good. I’m going to have her tested one more time just to make sure everyone is clean, and we’ll move on.’’
Daly was asked if the experience helped give him new-found perspective on the terrible disease. While he said that was a fair question, the pandemic’s profound impact on the NHL since last March has educated the deputy commissioner on the virus from the get-go.
“Certainly I know a lot about the virus,’’ Daly said. “I’ve been dealing with the virus and the situation it creates for 10 months now. So, nothing about it, there wasn’t anything my doctor told me that I didn’t already know. So from that perceptive, it was fairly easy to navigate.
“The crazy thing about the COVID virus is the greatly disparate impact, effect, and consequences it has on different people. At the end of the day, I was very fortunate. While I had some symptoms, they were minor. And I didn’t get really sick. Unfortunately, a lot of people do; and with dire consequences for some. That’s what makes the virus more scary than anything else.’’