Gary Bettman isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
The NHL’s first and only commissioner celebrated 25 years on the job Thursday and in an interview on Prime Time Sports, he confirmed that he will be staying in the role at least until the next round of collective bargaining, in either 2020 or 2022.
“I don’t plan on going anywhere,” Bettman, 65, said. “I’m having too much fun, I’m loving the opportunity, there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing.”
“It’s on honour to do what I do… As long as I can give it 100 per cent, then I want to keep doing it. If for whatever reason I don’t feel that I can give it 100 per cent then I’ll stop.”
Bettman joined the NHL in 1993 after being a senior vice president with the NBA.
Since then, the NHL has expanded from 24 to 31 teams and league revenue has increased from $400 million to $4.5 billion. It hasn’t been easy, with three lockouts including a completely lost season forever tied to his legacy, but it’s hard to argue the impact Bettman has had on the growth of the league.
When asked what he’ll reflect on most from his first 25 years as commissioner, Bettman redirected the conversation to the future.
“What I focus on is the fact that the game is as entertaining and as exciting and as competitive as it’s ever been,” he said. “And the best has yet to come.”
You can hear the whole interview at the top of this post, which includes Bettman’s thoughts on the current playoff format, the success of the Vegas Golden Knights and an update on a potential 32nd team in Seattle.