Flyers’ Hill, Staff Earn NHL Award

A typical game day for Zack Hill begins at 9 in the morning.

“I’m usually home by 11:30 that night,” Hill said.

Talk about a dedicated employee. Hill is that and much more in his title as Sr. Director of Communications for the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers.

Not so surprisingly, Hill and his capable staff recently earned the 2012 Dick Dillman Award, presented at the NHL’s Draft in Pittsburgh.

The Dillman Award is presented to the Eastern and Western Conference teams judged to be tops in media relations in their respective conferences.

A Wheeling Park High graduate, Hill went on to earn a B.A. in Elementary Education at West Virginia University and was a few hours short of achieving a master’s when he was offered an internship with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers.

“I felt joining the Sixers (in January of 1987) was advantageous and it turned out that way,” Hill reported. Eventually promoted to public relations director, Hill remained with the Sixers until a similar opportunity with the Flyers became available.

This coming season, Hill begins his 20th anniversary campaign with the Broad Street Bullies.

“It’s been a great ride with so many opportunities to meet and become friends with both players and administrative officials,” he said.

Upon arriving at Wells Fargo Arena, home of the Flyers, Hill spends time exploring possible overnight personnel transactions. He also screens player interview requests from a large contingent of Philadelphia-area media.

“We normally credential anywhere between 120 and 130 media representatives (per game),” Hill said. “We’re talking much more than just a few local daily papers. There’s radio, television, visiting team media and often nation publications and writers.”

The Flyers, of course, are coached by Peter Laviolette, a former Nailers’ coach. Laviolette’s Flyers scored an impressive 4-2 Stanley Cup Eastern Conference quarterfinal series victory against Pittsburgh before being ousted by New Jersey in the semifinal round.

“Peter’s a great guy. There isn’t a more respected coach in the league,” Hill said.

Though temporarily slowed by double knee replacement surgery, Hill has recovered nicely and looking forward to a return trip home to the valley later this month where he’ll visit with his father and long-time school administrator C. Gary Hill.

“Working with the Flyers has been a wonderful experience and one I hope to continue in coming years,” Hill said.