Gary Bettman

Gary Bettman made even more money last year


NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman knows business is good as he managed to get a raise last year.

Chris Botta of Sports Business Journal reports Bettman pulled down nearly $8 million last season, up from $7.5 million the year before. With the owners duking it out with the players, the timing of this information becoming public couldn’t be more awkward.

More from Botta:

The filing reported compensation for nine of the NHL’s top officers. Several, including Bettman, received notable pay increases from the previous year. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly made $2.86 million in 2010-11 after making just more than $2 million the previous season. Chief Operating Officer John Collins received $1.25 million in bonus and incentive compensation directly tied to the league’s business growth. That bonus brought his total pay to $2.32 million, almost double his 2009-10 season compensation of $1.2 million.

It wasn’t all news about the heads of the NHL pulling down the big bucks as the league lost $14.7 million for its business operations. The league also paid out over $6 million to lawyers to help handle their situation with the Phoenix Coyotes.

The NHLPA is probably pleased at seeing this information come out now. It’s hard for the lead guy on the owners’ side to cry poor when his salary keeps going up.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)

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Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…

Two-for-two: Another successful coach’s challenge as Sens reverse Kane’s goal

Dave Cameron
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Coaches are quickly getting the hang of this challenge thing.

Following Mike Babcock’s successful challenge in Toronto’s opening-night loss to Montreal on Wednesday, Babcock’s provincial rival — Sens head coach Dave Cameron — got it right as well, successfully reversing Evander Kane‘s would-be equalizer in the third period.

From the league:

At 10:34 of the third period in the Senators/Sabres game, Ottawa requested a Coach’s Challenge to review whether Buffalo was off-side prior to Evander Kane’s goal.

After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Linesman determined that Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons was off-side prior to the goal. According to Rule 78.7, “The standard for overturning the call in the event of a ‘GOAL’ call on the ice is that the Linesman, after reviewing any and all available replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that one or more Players on the attacking team preceded the puck into the attacking zone prior to the goal being scored and that, as a result, the play should have been stopped for an “Off-side” infraction; where this standard is met, the goal will be disallowed.”

Therefore the original call is overturned – no goal Buffalo Sabres.

The clock is re-set to show 9:32 (10:28 elapsed time), when the off-side infraction occurred.

As the league later noted, this was the first coach’s challenge under the offside scenario.