NHL Commissioner Elected To Hall Of Fame

Bettman, who has served as commissioner since 1993, is part of a six-person class

June 28, 2018 - 9:04 am

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Gary Bettman, who has served as NHL commissioner since 1993, will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame this year. Bettman, 66, is part of a six-person class that includes longtime goalie Martin Brodeur and Willie O’Ree, who broke the NHL’s color barrier.

The NHL has added seven franchises under Bettman’s leadership and went from a $400-million league to a $3.5-billion league. 

“I’m sure that plays a role (in his induction),” NHL.com’s Brian Compton said on Ferrall on the Bench. “I think a bigger reason, at least in my eyes, is the amount of young kids in the United States that are playing hockey that weren’t before. Look no further than Auston Matthews in Toronto, who only started playing living in Arizona because his uncle took him to a Coyotes game when he was 3 or 4 years old. So putting hockey in non-traditional markets has really led to great things all cross the country. It’s awesome.”

Indeed, Bettman grew the game and brought stability to the league.

“There’s a lot of teams that have been in trouble before that aren’t in trouble anymore – even the Islanders,” Compton said. “The Islanders have never been in better hands as far as ownership goes, and now they’re going to open a new building, hopefully in the fall of 2021. All god things for sure.”