According to recent tax documents in a published report by SportsBusiness Journal, Gary Bettman, the often chided NHL Commissioner, earned $7.5 million during the 2009-10 fiscal year that ended June 30, 2010. This marked a four percent increase in pay from the previous year.
It also puts Bettman on par with Marion Gaborik, Ilya Kovalchuk, Roberto Luongo and Zdeno Chara – NHL superstars who all earned $7.5 million during the 2009-10 season. In fact, only 12 NHL players earned more that season than Bettman.
Bettman’s base salary consisted of $5,787,524 while other compensation, deferred compensation and benefits accounted for the remaining salary.
The tax documents also show that Bettman’s salary has doubled since the 2004-05 lockout while total revenue generated by the NHL, NHL Enterprises and members clubs rose from $2.1 billion to $2.9 billion during the same time frame.
Bettman, who is often the target of fan scorn and is audibly booed at major appearances (such as the Stanley Cup Finals where he presents the trophy to the captain of the winning team), still makes only a fraction of what Commissioners of other major sports league make annually. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig makes $18.35 million annually while NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell makes $10.9 million.
Share your thoughts! Does Bettman deserve to make a salary equivelent to some of the league’s top talent?