NHL commissioner Gary Bettman: $7.8 million
How much can you make from not playing hockey? The answer, for Gary Bettman at least, is at least $7.8 million. That’s what the NHL commissioner made in 2011, the year before he locked out his players for the third time in 18 seasons, according to the latest available data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition to his salary of $6 million, the 61-year-old took home $1.8 million in bonuses, deferred compensation and benefits—a fair sight more than the $1-million-a-season deal signed back in 1993. By the time of his first lockout in 1995, Bettman’s pay had more than doubled. And after cancelling an entire season in 2004-05, his pay went up to $3.7 million. To be fair, the NHL’s annual revenues have grown from less than the bosses of the MLB, NFL and NBA. Good value? That depends on your perspective. Currently, including stars like Shea Weber, Sidney Crosby and Steve Stamkos. But Brad Richards and Ilya Kovalchuk are also in that group, and Bettman had a better year. His current contract runs through 2015.