The cheers for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman from owners may soon drown out the boos he receives during the Stanley Cup final and at the NHL Entry Draft.
Bettman and company have not only made a lot of friends on the west coast with an NHL team bound for Seattle, but he has no doubt strengthened his relationship with the league’s board of governors.
Owners will share in a $650-million expansion fee from Seattle’s ownership group — an increase from the $500-million that the Vegas Golden Knights recently paid to become the NHL’s 31st team.
In two years the NHL will grow to 32 franchises.
When Bettman became commissioner in 1993, the 24-team NHL went as far south as St. Louis and had just three teams on the west coast. Add Anaheim and now Seattle and that number has grown to five.
Owners revenues also grow with this development, which whether your like it or not, is what Gary Bettman gets paid to do.