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Bettman made around $8.3 million in 2011-12

Sep 3, 2013, 10:35 AM EDT

Gary Bettman Getty Images

Every once in a while it’s revealed that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman makes a healthy salary. Today, is one of those once in a whiles.

From SportsBusiness Journal:

Bettman received more than $8.3 million in salary and benefits during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012. His total compensation the previous year was $7.98 million.

Bettman’s salary has more than doubled over a period that has seen the league’s total revenue increase from $2.1 billion in 2003-04 to $3.2 billion for the season of this latest tax filing. In the lockout-canceled season of 2004-05, Bettman made $3.7 million.

The commissioner, while certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, has not seen his compensation grow for nothing. As mentioned above, NHL revenues have risen dramatically the past decade, as has the average franchise value.

SBJ also reported, via the league’s latest tax filing, the salaries of some of Bettman’s underlings…


  1. dt58 - Sep 3, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    I guess we now know why he’s go that smirk/sh!t eating grin on his face all the time…

  2. charlutes - Sep 3, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Revenues have raised because revenues were going to raise regardless over the modern sports age. The fact that this guy makes more than most star players is a good indication of how screwed up the world is. Not to mention Bettman’s massive con list. Ie phoenix, lockouts, being hated by most eveyone

    • Ryan Leng - Sep 3, 2013 at 3:55 PM

      I mean, I agree, this is ridiculous, as are most CEO salaries—this one doesn’t particularly stand out, tho’. Instead of comparing what he makes to what players make, shouldn’t the market be examined for what other commissioners make? David Stern of the NBA: 20-23 mil per year; Roger Goodell makes just under 30 mil; and Bud Selig of the MLB is remunerated nearly 20 mil per year. So… I dunno. I’m a socialist and personally think all these salaries are insane, but by comparison, Bettman shouldn’t be criticized. Now one could always criticize the system that creates this absurdity: Does his job justify that amount spent? Does Sidney Crosby’s? Do either of them contribute as much good to the society as the average doctor, who isn’t even as well paid as their agents…?

  3. innout10 - Sep 3, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Do you realize he doesn’t pay himself? The Board of Governors set his compensation …. People are such idiots

    • ibieiniid - Sep 3, 2013 at 1:17 PM

      uh…. ya. we do.

  4. jpelle82 - Sep 3, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    so he makes more than 98% of the league’s players do….this news will surely boost his image and finally call an end to the incessant booing he receives.

    • hallsy86 - Sep 3, 2013 at 12:42 PM

      Most CEO’s make more than the employees below them. It isn’t anything new.

      • ibieiniid - Sep 3, 2013 at 1:36 PM

        I’ll explain the thumbs down before you get most of them….

        the NHL is a non-profit organization.
        the players are not their employees, they’re the team’s employees.
        Bettman is not a CEO (that one’s just semantics, commish, CEO, same difference IMO)
        complacency with unjustness doesn’t sit right with anybody.

      • ibieiniid - Sep 3, 2013 at 1:36 PM

        sorry: teams’*

  5. larrybiv - Sep 3, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    3.7 mil. For lockout season…….hmmm
    Exactly HOW does he earn that kind of money?
    No way he should earn more than most players…….what a joke.
    Oh yeah, he knows it as well, look at picture.
    I hate him even more…….now.

  6. r4n6er - Sep 3, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    So he makes almost as much as Sid the kid?

  7. greenmtnboy31 - Sep 3, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    And he’s overpaid by 8.2M! What other professional sports league has had multiple lockouts and cancelled seasons under their commissioners? ……….crickets chirping……..

  8. 48colorrainbow - Sep 3, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    For all that money, you would think he could avoid a lockout.

    • ibieiniid - Sep 3, 2013 at 2:04 PM

      or, ya know, maybe some hair plugs.

      • sw19womble - Sep 3, 2013 at 7:55 PM

        Or maybe some butt plugs. Whatever floats his boat.

      • ibieiniid - Sep 4, 2013 at 8:01 AM

        alright i’ll give you that one.

  9. ibieiniid - Sep 3, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    I’ll be honest though, I’m surprised any of the guys on that list get less than 1mil/yr.

  10. amityvillefun - Sep 3, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    This guy has hurt the NHL in so many ways… Shouldn’t he have been replaced with the lockout mismanagement? And yet, here he is, still laughing in the face of every die hard NHL fan and rolling in money.

    It’s scumbags like Bettman that give humanity a bad name. I don’t believe a damn word that ever comes out of his mouth.

    “The NHL has the best fans….”

    Yeah Gary, too bad you weren’t one of them. I’ll cheer when you retire or expire.

  11. sw19womble - Sep 3, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    Didn’t we just have a massive lockout by the clubs because they were so broke and not making any money and all about to go bust?

    Guess they must have found some money under the sofa that they completely forgot about during all those hardball negotiations.

  12. bettmanholdshockeyback - Sep 3, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    So, revenues have increased but have they increased at a comparable rate? I haven’t done the research but likely there is a stat/number geek out there that has that information at fingertip. Aside from that, could revenues have been more by having a better commissioner. Perhaps having a commissioner who actually understands how to grow the game and develop new fans, the next generation of fans. My guess is yes.

    Bettman presides over the greatest sport of all time yet it has been documented that poker outdraws the NHL. Yes, he has had successes but he is not worth the money he is making regardless of whether the owners are willingly shelling it out to him or not. I can only imagine what they would pay a commissioner that is truly growing the game. Grow the game first and the league will surely follow. Get more kids playing the game and then simply step out of the way. Of course, that requires more vision than Bettman seems to be capable of and a plan to see it through along with the understanding that growing youth participation is an extension of the marketing departments of not only all 30 NHL franchises but the league itself. I just don’t see Bettman understanding that let alone giving a tinker’s damn about it.

    As far as booing the commissioner, I will never do that in his presence because I know he thrives on it. I saw an interview of him one time and he stated that being booed did not bother him and that if the booing stopped he would be worried then. I guess he believes that once the booing stops everyone believes he is irrelevant.

    The NHL owners should be embarrassed that their sport and league do not hold a higher level of meaning in the hearts of people in the United States. It is the one sport that offers everything Americans crave in their games, entertainment or “product”, if you will. Hockey has speed, grace, non-stop action, high skill and physical play unlike any other sport. In that way, hockey rules like no other sport could ever hope to do. Yet, it remains an afterthought for most Americans and I believe that squarely rests on the shoulders of Bettman. You simply do not see the passion for the sport when he speaks of it. Hockey and the NHL need that from its commissioner and when the owners realize that perhaps they will hire the right man for the task of taking the sport and the league to its rightful place.

  13. blomfeld - Sep 3, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    8.3 MY ASS !

    Bettman’s ‘declared’ salary is obviously just a fraction of the total compensation package which he ultimately received, for there is simply no accounting for the ‘untold’ millions which must have gone this man’s way, including but not limited to ‘gratuitous’ cash & stock payments from various ‘appreciative’ owners and lucrative ‘insider’ financial skullduggery.

  14. patthehockeyfan - Sep 5, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    I don’t care how much he earns. He is and always will be a d*ck.

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