Hating NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has become almost too easy, as he is one of if not the single most unlikable figure in the sport of hockey (Matt Cooke and Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs are always in that running as well). But a new report surfacing that Bettman made $8.8 million during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season is one of the most appalling things in Bettman’s tenure
Bettman and his cronies (NHL owners) shut the league down and kept players off the ice in order to increase their own revenues. Not only were players denied the right to play and fans denied the right to enjoy the game we love so much, but people who depend on the NHL for their livelihood were left high and dry. Stadium employees and owners of business around arenas lost substantial portions of their income due to the lack of games. Unlike players and higher ups theses everyday people weren’t reimbursed.
For Bettman to accept a paycheck of any size, much less one for more than any current player is making after torpedoing almost half a season is borderline criminal. Obviously this wasn’t Bettman’s first time ruining a season, the 1994-95 season was cut short due to another owner/Bettman-induced lockout and obviously the 2004-05 season never happened. For as much as the league’s revenues/products have grown during Bettman’s 20-year tenure the cost of almost two full seasons make it anything but worth it.
The bottom line is Gary Bettman is bad for the game of hockey and the league would be a better place if he was never in a position of power. The fact he pocketed almost $9 million in a year where many people lost a lot of money because of him says all that needs to be said. The sad reality is Bettman isn’t going anywhere and his borderline inept way of running the league will continue lining his pockets with money at the expense of the greatest game in the world.