Blog Entry

Report: Gary Bettman gets five-year extension

Posted on: March 11, 2011 3:58 am
Edited on: March 11, 2011 4:14 am
This could be why Gary Bettman doesn't seem bothered by the backlash the league has received for its decision not to suspend Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, the latest tumult in his 18-year tenure as NHL Commissioner. 

Bettman had his contract quietly extended five more years back in November, The Globe and Mail reported Friday. The newspaper reports that the nine-member executive committee unanimously approved the extension. 

Bettman's current contract, which pays him $7.2 million annually, was originally set to expire this summer. Apparenlty, one of his biggest backers may very well be the owner of the team at the center of this week's controversy.
What will surely fire up the conspiracy theorists, who have been venting loudly on all forms of media following Zdeno Chara’s hit on Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens, is the identity of the driving force behind Bettman’s new contract. It is Jeremy Jacobs, the NHL’s chairman of the board of governors who just happens to own the Boston Bruins, the team that employs Chara. However, as chairman, one of Jacobs’s duties is to keep the commissioner and the other key executives of the NHL under contract.

Bettman confirmed via e-mail he received an extension. “Old news. I believe my contract has been extended four times, each time with the approval of the board of governors,” he said.

Bettman, who was part of a panel convened to promote hockey on Capitol Hill on Thursday, didn't sweat the fact that Air Canada and seemingly all of Quebec was angered the league didn't give Chara at least a token suspension. Here's a look at that video

Bettman has never been a fan-favorite. He gets blamed for the lockout that wiped out the 2004-05 season, his efforts to keep the Phoenix Coyotes from moving to Canada, his expansion to non-traditional markets, the fact that the NHL is no longer on ESPN and even the glowing puck. Since he's the guy at the top, he also gets his share of the blame for what often seems to be uneven discipline -- even if the former NBA exec leaves those issues to his hockey operations staff. 

Lost is the fact that Bettman is popular among the only contingent that counts: the league's 30  owners. (OK. The league runs the Coyotes, so that one is a given.). He's gotten them a salary cap and the league, overall, is strong financially. 

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: March 11, 2011 12:16 pm

Report: Gary Bettman gets five-year extension

I really think you need to look further to what Gary Bettman has done since he has become commish. He has changed the rules of this game as he seems fit. Example 1 In the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals Malkin received a major penalty with less than 5 minutes left in the game for going after Datsyuk. The rule states that any player receiving a major penalty with less than 5 minutes left in the game must sit the next game. Good old Gary Bettman said we can't have our superstars sitting out of the Stanley Cup Finals so he lift the one game suspension. He was going to make sure that his poster boy ( Sid the Kid) had every chance to win the Stanley Cup If he wouldn't have taken fighting out of the game so the players could police the game themselves like they have done for so many years in the past then you wouldn't have the head hits or cheap shots like you do now. He put in the salery cap after 2002 because the Red Wings had the money and went out and got the very best players...Hull,Hasek,and Robitaille. Which is fine until he changes the rules again. Example number 2 Is how he nows suspends players who do not show up for the All Star even if they are injuried. That is stupid because the all star game means nothing. They should get rid of Bettman

Since: Apr 20, 2009
Posted on: March 11, 2011 12:12 pm

Report: Gary Bettman gets five-year extension

once again maddog spews his idiocy
the only reason the league "IS" doing better is because the teams that draw fans consistantly (Canada) now have a dollar worth $1.04 and not $0.57
I think we've seen the future of the league south of the border ...thanks.....but you're either blind or just plain retarded would be my guess...I've been to hockey games in florida and glendale and in florida i was given 4 tickets for $20.00 and in phoenix We got 2 tickets given to us out front of the arena by someone representing the team.
The league temproarily bailed out pittsburgh while mario got his group together, temporarily bailed out the islanders until they got wang in place, bailed out buffalo forever until they could get someone not going to prison to bite and we don't need to go into the coyotes case.
Sports illustrated a few years back ran a poll in the U.S.A. on the top 50 most popular sports border to border and hockey was not to be seen on the list. You may be an american hockey fan but you are delusional if you think the league needs you....fact is once gary hitler bettman is gone real Canadian hockey fans wish the league would contract and move teams back where they belong north of the border and keep only the american teams that have proven support.

Since: Jul 22, 2010
Posted on: March 11, 2011 12:03 pm

Report: Gary Bettman gets five-year extension

What a mistake.  

Since: Sep 11, 2007
Posted on: March 11, 2011 11:42 am

Report: Gary Bettman gets five-year extension

It seems that mikeyfan and hockeybob are the only other intelligent hockey fans out there.  Bettman saved hockey when it was spiralling out of control.  His forcing a min/max hard salary cap is the only way to both force fiscal responsibility and level the playing field so no one team can buy all the free agents.  Just look at baseball... Bettman may not be perfect but his insistance on maintaining the NHL in non-traditional markets is what is allowing hockey to grow in popularity.  Face it Canadians, the future of hockey's life is south of your border.  Bettman is selling hockey to a new generation of fans.  Bottom line is Bettman is the only commissioner that had the balls to make the hard choice for the good of the WHOLE  leage instead of a few influential owners.

Since: Feb 27, 2011
Posted on: March 11, 2011 11:37 am

Report: Gary Bettman gets five-year extension

Well said dude!

Since: Sep 8, 2006
Posted on: March 11, 2011 10:51 am

Report: Gary Bettman gets five-year extension

Bettman's handling of the Coyotes alone should draw this decision into question. The guy is all about his own ego and nothing at all about what is good for the game. The only teams that should really be happy with the Coyotes not being in Southern Ontario are the Leafs, Sabres and to a lesser extent, the Sens.
I'd love to see a guy like Yzerman as Commissioner, but he probably has to learn more at the Management level before he is ready, or he may not be so inclined anyway. You don't get the thrill of winning Stanley Cups when you are Commissioner, but a small consolation would be that you get to touch it once a year. I'm not sure if the owners would ever go for an ex-player, but he's as fair-minded as they'd probably find.
With this Chara hit, Bettman may be setting the stage for his own demise. To have not given a token 1-3 game suspension and sent a message, he may have opened up the floodgates for legal action for on ice behaviour. Cases have been taken to court in the past, but in all cases the judges tried to respect the integrity of the game and the NHL's right to police the product while the clock is ticking on ice. But once judges see that the NHL is not living up to that responsibility, there is no reason why they shouldn't start upholding the laws of the land and taking criminal cases. There have been worse hits before, but the lack of concern that Bettman has shown for this particular hit stands out. I think he is doing this because he is scared about criminal liability for the league because of the location of the turnbuckle, but the consequences of not taking responsibility are far more serious for the game.

Since: Sep 6, 2007
Posted on: March 11, 2011 10:13 am

Report: Gary Bettman gets five-year extension

I hate Gary Bettman.  I have reiterated that over and over.  But as one poster mentioned, he obviously does all right in the making owners money department, though I think someone more competent could grow the game better, faster, and without making the NHL front office consistently look like a bunch of bumbling idiots.

On the Chara hit, which I haven't commented on yet:
1. Pacioretty was begging for an ass kicking of some sort: if you know the history and the game circumstance.  He should have done more to protect himself.  He shouldn't have been yanking the tiger's tail. 
2. Chara has a mean streak, he always has.  And, he knows that rink well, he played there plenty.  He was lighting him up on purpose.
3. Chara likely didn't intend the injury to occur.
4. The NHL should have put out a suspension.  I'm not saying a year, but 2-3 games seems about right.  With that vicious thing being replayed over and over, legal or not (it was not), he needed to take a suspension.
5. A hit like this has nothing to do with the fighting debate.  Chara would still have done this even if Bob Probert was sitting on the Bruins bench.  The outcome would have been the same. 

Since: Feb 13, 2011
Posted on: March 11, 2011 10:05 am

Report: Gary Bettman gets five-year extension

I think this is a good move on the owners part.  Before anyone jumps on me name me a commishiner that anyone has liked and thought they were great for their sport, lately? 

Gary took a product that was tanking in the late 90's and early 2000's and took a major gamble and shut the league down for a season, in the end it looks like a pretty good move.  The league went from a salary cap of some 38M to around 58M in 5 years.  The attendence has risen each year along with the income.  Sure there are a couple of struggling franchises but name a league that doesn't have a franchise or two struggling? 

Bottom line is Gary has taken a product that was failing and has breathed new life into it.  I don't like everything he has done but he is successful like it or not.  He is about the league not the owners or the players, although like any commishiner he knows that without the owners there would be no players. 

People don't like his TV contract with Verses, he took the best deal he could get for the league, ESPN didn't really want it, and now that the Contract is up for renewel, he will once again do what is best for the league and take the highest bid.  Verses, while not reaching as many markets has done pretty good. 

So quit your bitching and think about where the league may be if he wasn't the commishiner,  Would there even be an NHL on TV with him?

Since: Jan 3, 2010
Posted on: March 11, 2011 9:38 am

Report: Gary Bettman gets five-year extension

Yeah, right...."what a joke"....they give this "f---ing greedy fool" a another five-year extension, he does'nt a "clue" or "knowledge" of Hockey, he's "typical greedy --- brain" is on "money" and the "N.B.A."....Yell

Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: March 11, 2011 8:51 am

Report: Gary Bettman gets five-year extension

The league is ultimately about making money for the owners, that's the only reason there is an NHL to begin with.   Gary is good at making money for the owners, that about sums it up as to why he's been extended.    Who is a realistic replacement for him anyway?    As obnoxious as Gary is, he'll only get replaced by another lawyer that probably isn't as adept at acquiring new owners for franchises, and he has fleeced sponsors in the past as much or more so than any of the other commissioners.   I don't like him, but the idea that he's the worst thing to happen to hockey seems to be naive.     Wait for the tv contract to come out and then hammer him.   ESPN is stilll licking their wounds after he fleeced them the last contract, and a lockout was going to happen a few years ago no matter who was commissioner.
Gary isn't hockey's biggest problem.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or