Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Gary Bettman

Gary Bettman

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Gary Bettman'
Start a new discussion about 'Gary Bettman'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Gary Bruce Bettman is the commissioner
NHL Commissioner
The National Hockey League Commissioner is the highest-ranking executive officer in the National Hockey League . The position was created in 1993 with Gary Bettman as the first Commissioner...

 of the National Hockey League
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

 (NHL), a post he has held since February 1, 1993. Previously, Bettman was a senior vice-president and general counsel to the National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

 (NBA). Bettman is a graduate of Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

 and New York University School of Law
New York University School of Law
The New York University School of Law is the law school of New York University. Established in 1835, the school offers the J.D., LL.M., and J.S.D. degrees in law, and is located in Greenwich Village, in the New York City borough of Manhattan....

.

Under Bettman, the NHL has seen rapid growth of league revenues, from $400 million when he was hired to over $3.0 billion in 2010–11
2010–11 NHL season
The 2010–11 NHL season was the 94th season of operation of the National Hockey League . It was the fourth consecutive season that opened in Europe with NHL Premiere . A record three events were scheduled, all in previous NHL Premiere cities: Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm, Sweden; and Prague, Czech...

. He also oversaw the expansion the NHL's footprint across the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, with six new teams added during his tenure, bringing the NHL to 30.

However, Bettman has also been in the middle of controversy during his tenure. He has often been criticized for attempting to "Americanize" the game, and expanding the league into non-traditional hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

 markets such as the American South
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 at the expense of the more traditional markets in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 and the Northern United States
Northern United States
Northern United States, also sometimes the North, may refer to:* A particular grouping of states or regions of the United States of America. The United States Census Bureau divides some of the northernmost United States into the Midwest Region and the Northeast Region...

. Bettman was also a central figure of two labor stoppages, including the 2004–05 NHL lockout that saw the entire season canceled. These controversies have made him unpopular among fans around the league.

Education and family


Bettman was born in Queens
Queens
Queens is the easternmost of the five boroughs of New York City. The largest borough in area and the second-largest in population, it is coextensive with Queens County, an administrative division of New York state, in the United States....

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

. He studied Industrial and Labor Relations
Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations
The New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations is an industrial relations school at Cornell University, an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, USA...

 at Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

 in Ithaca, New York
Ithaca, New York
The city of Ithaca, is a city in upstate New York and the county seat of Tompkins County, as well as the largest community in the Ithaca-Tompkins County metropolitan area...

, where he was a brother of the Alpha Epsilon Pi
Alpha Epsilon Pi
Alpha Epsilon Pi , the Global Jewish college fraternity, has 155 active chapters in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Israel with a membership of over 9,000 undergraduates...

 Fraternity, and graduated in 1974. After receiving a Juris Doctor
Juris Doctor
Juris Doctor is a professional doctorate and first professional graduate degree in law.The degree was first awarded by Harvard University in the United States in the late 19th century and was created as a modern version of the old European doctor of law degree Juris Doctor (see etymology and...

 degree from New York University School of Law
New York University School of Law
The New York University School of Law is the law school of New York University. Established in 1835, the school offers the J.D., LL.M., and J.S.D. degrees in law, and is located in Greenwich Village, in the New York City borough of Manhattan....

 in 1977, Bettman joined the New York City law firm of Proskauer Rose Goetz & Mendelsohn
Proskauer Rose
Proskauer Rose is one of the largest law firms in the United States, with twelve offices in the United States and around the world...

.

Bettman is Jewish and lives with his wife, Shelli, and their three children Lauren, Jordan, and Brittany. He is a resident of Saddle River, New Jersey
Saddle River, New Jersey
Saddle River is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough population was 3,152. Saddle River has the second-highest per-capita income in the state...

. Half brother Jeffrey Pollack
Jeffrey Pollack
Pollack has been named to Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal of "40 Under 40" and twice to The Sporting News 100. He has also won two Emmy Awards. Pollack is married, and resides in both Los Angeles and Las Vegas...

 was the Commissioner of the World Series of Poker
World Series of Poker
The World Series of Poker is a world-renowned series of poker tournaments held annually in Las Vegas and, since 2005, sponsored by Harrah's Entertainment...

.

NBA


Bettman joined the National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

 in 1981, serving mainly in the marketing and legal departments. Bettman rose to third in command of the NBA, spending many years as the league's general counsel and senior vice president. Bettman played a key role in the development of the soft salary cap
NBA Salary Cap
The NBA salary cap is the limit to the total amount of money that National Basketball Association teams are allowed to pay their players. This limit is subject to a complex system of rules and exceptions and as such is considered a "soft" cap....

 system implemented and agreed by the NBA in 1983, a system it continues to use today.

NHL commissioner


On February 1, 1993, Bettman's tenure as the first commissioner
NHL Commissioner
The National Hockey League Commissioner is the highest-ranking executive officer in the National Hockey League . The position was created in 1993 with Gary Bettman as the first Commissioner...

 of the National Hockey League began, replacing Gil Stein, who served as the NHL's final president. The owners hired Bettman with the mandate of selling the game in the U.S. market, end labor unrest, complete expansion plans, and modernize the views of the "old-guard" within the ownership ranks.

Expansion and relocation


When Bettman started as commissioner, the league had already expanded by three teams to 24 starting with the 1991–92 season, and two more were set to be announced by the expansion committee: the Florida Panthers
Florida Panthers
The Florida Panthers are a professional ice hockey team based in Sunrise, Florida, in the Miami metropolitan area. They are members of the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League . They play their games at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise and are the...

 and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
Anaheim Ducks
The Anaheim Ducks are a professional ice hockey team based in Anaheim, California, USA. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League...

, who would begin play in 1993–94. Led by Bettman, the league focused expansion and relocation efforts during the rest of the 1990s on the American South
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

, working to expand the league's footprint across the country. The Nashville Predators
Nashville Predators
The Nashville Predators are a professional ice hockey team based in Nashville, Tennessee. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League...

 (1998), Atlanta Thrashers
Atlanta Thrashers
The Atlanta Thrashers were a professional ice hockey team based in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. Atlanta was granted a franchise in the National Hockey League on June 25, 1997, and became the league's 28th franchise when it began play in the 1999–2000 NHL season...

 (1999), Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild
The Minnesota Wild are a professional ice hockey team based in St. Paul, Minnesota, United States. They are members of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League ....

 (2000) and Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets are a professional ice hockey team based in Columbus, Ohio, United States. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League...

 (2000) completed this expansion period, bringing the NHL to 30 teams. In addition, four franchises relocated during the 1990s under Bettman: The Minnesota North Stars
Minnesota North Stars
The Minnesota North Stars were a professional ice hockey team in the National Hockey League for 26 seasons, from 1967 to 1993. The North Stars played their home games at the Met Center in Bloomington, and the team's colors for most of its history were green, yellow, gold and white...

 to Dallas
Dallas Stars
The Dallas Stars are a professional ice hockey team based in Dallas, Texas. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League . The team was founded during the 1967 NHL expansion as the Minnesota North Stars, based in Bloomington, Minnesota. The...

 (1993), the Quebec Nordiques
Quebec Nordiques
The Quebec Nordiques were a professional ice hockey team based in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. The Nordiques played in the World Hockey Association and the National Hockey League...

 to Denver
Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche are a professional ice hockey team based in Denver, Colorado, United States. They are members of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League . The Avalanche have won the Stanley Cup twice, in 1995–96 and 2000–01. The franchise...

 (1995), the Winnipeg Jets to Phoenix
Phoenix Coyotes
The Phoenix Coyotes are a professional ice hockey team based in Glendale, Arizona. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League . They play their home games at Jobing.com Arena....

 (1996) and the Hartford Whalers
Hartford Whalers
The Hartford Whalers were a professional ice hockey team based for most of its existence in Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.A.. The club played in the World Hockey Association from 1972–79 and in the National Hockey League from 1979–97...

 to North Carolina
Carolina Hurricanes
The Carolina Hurricanes are a professional ice hockey team based in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. They are members of the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League , and play their home games at the 18,680-seat RBC Center...

 (1997).

This move towards Southern markets was heavily criticized as well, however, with fans in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 and the Northern United States
Northern United States
Northern United States, also sometimes the North, may refer to:* A particular grouping of states or regions of the United States of America. The United States Census Bureau divides some of the northernmost United States into the Midwest Region and the Northeast Region...

 lamenting the move away from "traditional hockey markets." Critics have also accused Bettman of having an "anti-Canadian" agenda, citing the relocation of the franchises in Quebec City and Winnipeg and his apparent refusal to help stop it, along with the aborted sale of the Nashville Predators
Nashville Predators
The Nashville Predators are a professional ice hockey team based in Nashville, Tennessee. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League...

 in 2007 to interests that would have moved the team to Hamilton, Ontario
Hamilton, Ontario
Hamilton is a port city in the Canadian province of Ontario. Conceived by George Hamilton when he purchased the Durand farm shortly after the War of 1812, Hamilton has become the centre of a densely populated and industrialized region at the west end of Lake Ontario known as the Golden Horseshoe...

. Jim Balsillie
Jim Balsillie
James Laurence "Jim" Balsillie is a Canadian businessman and co-CEO of the Canadian company Research In Motion. He is a member of the Trilateral Commission, a private political organization...

 accused Bettman of forcing the Predators to end negotiations with him to purchase the team. Bettman was satirized in this vein as the character "Harry Buttman" in the 2006 Canadian movie Bon Cop, Bad Cop
Bon Cop, Bad Cop
Bon Cop, Bad Cop is a 2006 Canadian comedy-thriller buddy cop film about an Ontarian and a Québécois police officer who reluctantly join forces. The dialogue is a mixture of English and French...

.

However, Bettman also championed the Canadian assistance plan, a revenue sharing agreement that saw American teams give money to help support the four small-market Canadian teams – Calgary
Calgary Flames
The Calgary Flames are a professional ice hockey team based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. They are members of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League . The club is the third major-professional ice hockey team to represent the city of Calgary, following the...

, Edmonton
Edmonton Oilers
The Edmonton Oilers are a professional ice hockey team based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. They are members of the Northwest Division in the Western Conference of the National Hockey League ....

, Ottawa
Ottawa Senators
The Ottawa Senators are a professional ice hockey team based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. They are members of the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League...

, and Vancouver
Vancouver Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks are a professional ice hockey team based in Vancouver, :British Columbia, Canada. They are members of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League . The Canucks play their home games at Rogers Arena, formerly known as General Motors Place,...

 – throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The results of expanding to Southern markets has been mixed. There has been in fact significant growth in the sport of hockey at the grassroots level with children in the U.S. South playing the game in increasing numbers. And Southern teams like the Anaheim Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Stars, and Tampa Bay Lightning have been successful on the ice and have won the Stanley Cup
Stanley Cup
The Stanley Cup is an ice hockey club trophy, awarded annually to the National Hockey League playoffs champion after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals. It has been referred to as The Cup, Lord Stanley's Cup, The Holy Grail, or facetiously as Lord Stanley's Mug...

.

Howerver, some of these Southern teams have not been as successful. The Phoenix Coyotes eventually filed for bankruptcy in May 2009
Phoenix Coyotes bankruptcy
In addition to the bankruptcy of the Phoenix Coyotes, this article discusses the NHL's efforts to sell the club since purchasing it out of bankruptcy.----...

 after incurring several hundred million dollars of losses since their 1996 move from Winnipeg. Under Bettman, the league then took control over the team later that year in order to stabilize the club's operations and then resell it to a new owner who would be committed to stay in the Phoenix market. However, Bettman and the NHL still have not finalized a deal with any new owner for the sale of the Coyotes. Complicating matters is the Goldwater Institute
Goldwater Institute
The Goldwater Institute is a Phoenix, Arizona-based conservative public policy research organization established in 1988. The president is Darcy A. Olsen. The Goldwater Institute advances public policies with emphasis on lower taxes, limited government spending, school choice, and a reduction in...

, a taxpayer advocacy group, who is threatening to sue if any deal involves the sale of bonds by the City of Glendale
Glendale, Arizona
Glendale is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA, located about nine miles northwest from Downtown Phoenix. According to 2010 Census Bureau, the population of the city is 226,721....

 to subsidize the potential new owner. Keeping the team afloat for now is the City of Glendale itself: after paying $25 million for the 2010–11 season to the NHL, another agreement was reached for the city to pay another $25 million to the league keep the Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena for the 2011–12 season.

After joining the league in 1999, the Atlanta Thrashers suffered financial losses and ownership struggles, while only appearing in the playoffs just once. They were eventually sold to True North Sports and Entertainment in 2011, who then relocated the team
Winnipeg Jets
The Winnipeg Jets were a professional ice hockey team based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. They began play in the World Hockey Association in 1972, moving to the National Hockey League in 1979 following the collapse of the WHA...

 to Winnipeg
Winnipeg
Winnipeg is the capital and largest city of Manitoba, Canada, and is the primary municipality of the Winnipeg Capital Region, with more than half of Manitoba's population. It is located near the longitudinal centre of North America, at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers .The name...

, a stark reversal of the league's attempts to expand into the Southern markets.

1994–95 lockout


Although Bettman was tasked with putting an end to the NHL's labor problems, the league has none-the-less locked out its players twice during Bettman's tenure. The 1994–95 lockout lasted 104 days, causing the season to be shortened from 84- to 48-games. A key issue during the lockout was the desire to aid small market teams. Led by Bettman, the owners insisted on a salary cap
Salary cap
In professional sports, a salary cap is a cartel agreement between teams that places a limit on the amount of money that can be spent on player salaries. The limit exists as a per-player limit or a total limit for the team's roster, or both...

, changes to free agency and arbitration in the hopes of limiting escalating salaries, the union instead proposed a luxury tax system. The negotiations were at times bitter, with Chris Chelios
Chris Chelios
Christos Kostas Tselios is a retired American professional ice hockey defenseman. He is currently the Executive Advisor to Ken Holland, the general manager of the Detroit Red Wings, a role that Steve Yzerman held before leaving to become general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning.Chelios played...

 famously issuing a veiled threat against Bettman, suggesting that Bettman should be "worried about [his] family and [his] well-being", because "Some crazed fans, or even a player [...] might take matters into their own hands and figure they get Bettman out of the way."

Last-ditch negotiations saved the season in January 1995. And while the owners failed to achieve a full salary cap, the union agreed to a cap on rookie contracts; changes to arbitration and restrictive rules for free agency that would not grant a player unrestricted free agency until he turned 31. The deal was initially hailed as a win for the owners.

2004–05 lockout


By the end of the deal in 2004, the owners were claiming that player salaries had grown far faster than revenues, and that the league as a whole lost over US$
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

300 million in 2002–03.

As a result, on September 15, 2004, Bettman announced that the owners again locked the players out prior to the start of the 2004–05 season. Three months later, Bettman announced the cancellation of the entire season:
The NHL became the first North American league to cancel an entire season because of a labor stoppage.

As in 1994, the owners' position was predicated around the need for a salary cap. In an effort to ensure solidarity amongst the owners, the league's governors voted to give Bettman the right to unilaterally veto any union offer as long as he had the backing of just eight owners. The players initially favored luxury tax system, and a 5% rollback on player salaries — later increased to 24 percent. As the threat of a canceled season loomed, the players agreed to accept a salary cap, but the two sides could not come to terms on numbers before the deadline expired.

Following the cancellation of the season, negotiations progressed quickly, as a revolt within the union led to National Hockey League Players Association president Trevor Linden
Trevor Linden
Trevor John Linden, C.M., O.B.C. is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey player. He played centre and right wing with four different teams: the Vancouver Canucks , New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, and Washington Capitals...

 and senior director Ted Saskin
Ted Saskin
Ted Saskin is the former NHL Players Association executive director. He assumed the title after Bob Goodenow resigned on July 28, 2005, but was unanimously fired by the NHLPA on May 10, 2007, after a union-commissioned report concluded Saskin had quarterbacked a campaign to hack into player email...

 taking negotiations over from executive director Bob Goodenow
Bob Goodenow
Robert W. "Bob" Goodenow is an American manager, who became the Executive Director of the National Hockey League Players Association in 1992, succeeding Alan Eagleson...

. Goodenow would resign from the NHLPA in July 2005. By early July, the two sides had agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement
NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement
The NHL collective bargaining agreement is the basic contract between the National Hockey League team owners and the NHL Players Association , designed to be arrived at through the typical labor-management negotiations of collective bargaining...

. The deal featured a hard salary cap, linked to a fixed percentage of league revenues, a 24% rollback on salaries, and free agency beginning after seven years of service. After being panned as one of the worst managers in business in 2004 for canceling the season, Bettman was lauded as one of the best in 2005 for his role in bringing "cost certainty" to the NHL.

Television


Bettman quickly accomplished one of his stated goals, signing a five-year, $155 million deal with the Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

 to broadcast NHL games nationally beginning in the 1994–95 season. The deal was significant, as a network television contract in the United States was long thought unattainable during the presidency of John Ziegler. The Fox deal is perhaps best remembered for the FoxTrax
FoxTrax
FoxTrax was a specialized ice hockey puck with internal electronics that allowed its position to be tracked designed for NHL telecasts on the Fox television network...

 puck, which while generally popular according to Fox Sports, generated a great deal of controversy from longtime fans of the game.

Canadians were also upset as the league gave preference to Fox ahead of CBC
Hockey Night in Canada
Hockey Night in Canada is the branding used for CBC Sports' presentations of the National Hockey League...

 for scheduling of playoff games, as Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette wrote that the schedule was "just another example of how the N.H.L. snubs its nose at the country that invented hockey and its fans." The controversy repeated itself in 2007, as CBC was once again given second billing to Versus
Versus (TV channel)
Versus is a sports-oriented cable television channel in the United States. It was previously known as Outdoor Life Network and was launched on July 1, 1995, focusing on fishing, hunting, and other outdoor sports...

' coverage of the playoffs.

Despite falling ratings, Bettman negotiated a five-year, $600 million deal with ABC
The NHL on ABC
The NHL on ABC is a former TV show that televised National Hockey League games on the American Broadcasting Company and was produced by ABC's corporate sibling ESPN.-Before the 1992–93 NHL season:...

 and ESPN
ESPN National Hockey Night
ESPN National Hockey Night was ESPN's weekly television broadcasts of National Hockey League regular season games and coverage of playoff games, broadcast from 1992 to 2004...

 in 1998. It was the largest television contract the NHL ever signed. The $120 million per year that ABC and ESPN paid for rights dwarfed the $5.5 million that the NHL received from American national broadcasts in 1991–92.

The NHL's television fortunes faded after the ABC/ESPN deal. In 2004, the league could manage a revenue sharing deal with only NBC, with no money paid up front by the network. Also, coming out of the lockout, ESPN declined its $60 million option for the NHL's cable rights in 2005–06. While wishing to retain the NHL, it stated the cost was overvalued. However, Bettman was able to negotiate a deal with Comcast
Comcast
Comcast Corporation is the largest cable operator, home Internet service provider, and fourth largest home telephone service provider in the United States, providing cable television, broadband Internet, and telephone service to both residential and commercial customers in 39 states and the...

 to air the NHL on the Outdoor Life Network
NHL on Versus
The NHL on Versus was the former branding used for National Hockey League games broadcast on Versus. Versus became the NHL's cable partner in the United States beginning in the 2005-06 season from previous partner ESPN, providing coverage of regular season games, playoff games, and select games...

 channel, which was later renamed Versus
Versus (TV channel)
Versus is a sports-oriented cable television channel in the United States. It was previously known as Outdoor Life Network and was launched on July 1, 1995, focusing on fishing, hunting, and other outdoor sports...

 in 2006. The three-year deal was worth $207.5 million. Bettman has been heavily criticized for the move to Versus, as detractors have argued that the league has lost a great deal of exposure since moving to the much smaller network. The TV deal with Versus was later extended through the 2010-11 season.

In January 2011, Comcast officially acquired NBC Universal
NBC Universal
NBCUniversal Media, LLC is a media and entertainment company engaged in the production and marketing of entertainment, news, and information products and services to a global customer base...

, and then in April of that year Bettman negotiated a new 10-year deal with the merged media company, worth nearly $2 billion dollars. Comcast/NBC also announced that Versus would be renamed with an "NBC" moniker, and both the cable channel and NBC would increase its number of games. In signing this new TV deal, Bettman rejected offers from ESPN and others. Reaction to this new TV deal has been mixed, noting that the NHL still lacks the exposure that ESPN can provide, while at the same time acknowledging that ESPN might not devote as much attention and promotion as Comcast/NBC would since the former is committed to various other sports properties.

XM Satellite Radio


Bettman hosts an hour-long weekly radio show on NHL Home Ice (XM 204). The show provides fans with an opportunity to speak directly with the commissioner and voice any questions, comments, or concerns related to ice hockey.

Salary


For the 2008-09 season, Bettman was paid $7.23 million by the NHL, of which $5,529,490 was his base salary. His salary has been increasing. It was $3.77 million prior to the 2004-05 lockout.

Public perception


Bettman's controversial decisions, as well as presiding over two labor stoppages, have made him unpopular among many NHL fans. He is regularly booed in various arenas around the league, ranging from his appearances at the yearly NHL Entry Draft
NHL Entry Draft
The NHL Entry Draft is an annual meeting in which every franchise of the National Hockey League systematically select the rights to available amateur ice hockey players who meet draft eligibility requirements...

 to his annual presentation of the Stanley Cup
Stanley Cup
The Stanley Cup is an ice hockey club trophy, awarded annually to the National Hockey League playoffs champion after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals. It has been referred to as The Cup, Lord Stanley's Cup, The Holy Grail, or facetiously as Lord Stanley's Mug...

 to the league champion at the end of every season. When asked if the booing ever bothers him, Bettman said, "Not doing this job, no. You're always going to have critics. What I've always told people: If I take the ice and it's completely silent, then I'll know I'm in trouble." In another interview, he replied that he says to himself, "You know what, [the fans] got an opinion. We may not agree on everything, but they care, and I'll take that." Still, writers such as Adam Proteau of The Hockey News
The Hockey News
The Hockey News, commonly abbreviated to THN, is a North American ice hockey magazine published by Transcontinental. The Hockey News was founded in 1947 by Ken McKenzie and Bill Côté, and has since been the most recognized hockey publication in North America...

and James O'Brien of NBC Sports
NBC Sports
NBC Sports is the sports division of the NBC television network. Formerly "a service of NBC News," it broadcasts a diverse array of programs, including the Olympic Games, the NFL, the NHL, MLS, Notre Dame football, the PGA Tour, the Triple Crown, and the French Open, among others...

' Pro Hockey Talk have advocated that someone else should hand out the Cup instead of Bettman so that the incessant booing does not spoil the ceremony.

External links