Big bucks for NHL Commish Bettman

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The Phoenix Coyotes are bankrupt, but NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman sure isn’t in the poorhouse.

According to an article in today’s SportsBusiness Journal, Bettman got a 27% raise during the 2007-08 season that brought his salary and benefits to $7.1 million for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2008. The numbers came from league tax filings.

Those figures are a high point for Bettman, whose salary before the lockout was $3.77 million. SportsBusiness Journal said that, according to tax filings, Bettman’s $7.1 million broke down to $4,197,694 in compensation from the NHL and $2,911,550 in compensation and benefits from the NHL’s business arm, NHL Enterprises.

Nice chunk of change, but it’s not close to what commissioners of the other major sports leagues earn. Bud Selig gets $18.35 million from Major League Baseball and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell gets $10.9 million. The salary of NBA Commissioner David Stern isn’t reported publicly because the league doesn’t claim tax-exempt status, SportsBusiness Journal said, but Stern is believed to earn more than $10 million annually.

SportsBusiness Journal also said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly earned $1.78 million in total compensation for the 2007-08 fiscal year, giving him a 2.3% raise from the previous year. Sounds like he needs a better agent.


-- Helene Elliott