Gary Bettman made even more money last year

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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.