Tuesday, 14 August 2012

What Does $8 Million Get You?

A lot of people would be grinning ear-to-ear after receiving a raise like Gary Bettman received this past year. Bettman saw his salary jump nearly $500,000 to just under a cool $8 million for the work he put in this year. Honestly, that's more than I can make in one year working overtime for 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year. But it got me to thinking: if I actually could make $8 million in one year (in some parallel universe, obviously), what the heck could I spend it on? I mean, I already get all the free tickets to NHL games I want, so what eccentric purchases could I make if I really wanted?

First off, I'm sure with all the hard work that Gary puts in day in and day out, he probably needs a quiet place to relax and collect his thoughts. My thought? How about buying Lake Winter Island in Wisconsin? How appropriate is the name - Lake Winter Island?!? It will only set Gary back $650,000 USD before closing costs, but it's practically a steal when you factor in the "[b]eautiful brand new (completely furnished) cedar chalet home with wrap-around deck" and "has electricity, phone, water and sewer and comes with its own private mainland access". And I'll bet Bill Daly would love CBA powwows up there where they can fish for "Muskies, Walleye, Bass and assorted Panfish" until the NHLPA comes to their senses.

But, honestly, what does the NHL Commissioner spend his cash on? Well, he appears to have a pretty swanky house in Saddle River, New York from what I discovered.

Not bad, right? Looks like a pretty nice place, and I assume it came with a fairly respectable price tag. That kind of privacy and seclusion, including the private driveway, would run up a decent-sized price tag, so you know Gary must be doing well.

For all that he does, though, does he really deserve an $8 million salary? Since the last lockout, Bettman's salary has gone from $3.7 million - when he literally staked credibility and reputation on the line in shutting down the league for a year - to $8 million when, once again, he is staking credibility and reputation on trying to prevent the owners from spending to oblivion and the players from demanding small countries as part of their contracts. While I'm not one to suggest that one doesn't earn the money one is paid, I'd like to know why my salary hasn't seen a 100% increase in the last seven years. The Board of Governors have to approve the salary increases, but it needs to be asked: what justification was provided for such a climb in dollars over such a short period of time?

If you ask me, it sounds like Gary Bettman's salary was tied to league revenues. All we've heard about is how the league continues to set records with the money they are making, and now we see that Bettman is reaping the benefits in a large way.

But, as we've seen with the owners, they're willing to throw bags of money at marginal players, so I guess it's nothing new to toss the guy representing the collective efforts of the thirty owners a bag or two. It just seems a little excessive for a guy preaching about controlling spending in a big way.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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