There seems to be some confusion over what Bettman's job actually is. He is not responsible for making the fans happy. We don't directly pay him, after all. His primary concern is keeping the owners happy. That's who signs his paychecks. Looking exclusively at that position, Bettman had done a stellar job. Under his regime the NHL has steadily increased profits, thrived under cheaper and alternative media outlets, introduced and popularized the cash cow Winter Classic, and while there had been a few lockouts, each one had resulted in more power/money being shifted from the players to the owners. The owners are as happy as they've ever been, thus Bettman is sticking around, likely with regular pay raises in the future.
Iltich, Dolan, Molson, Peddie, Snyderand the Acquilinis are known for not liking the guy add to that guys like Pegula, Thompson, Burkle who were all against the lockout and you end up with a good bunch of owners, who flatout hate him or at least aren't agreeing with him.
When it comes down to "losing money" it's funnywe are only hearing about that in lockout years or whenevera CBA is expiring, I call it creative bookkeeping. The owners are all billionaires and nobody can tell me, that they don't know how to hide money and make their anually income worse than it actually is. Money can buy you the best accountants, lawyers and other specialists. Just look at the Devils they've lost 25 million last year but yet two guys are lining up to 320 million for them, these are smart business-men they know exactly what they are getting in and what to expect. The funny thing to me with every CBA is, that the players have to make their contracts public yet the NHL doesn't need to do it, talk about a one way street.
The NHL would have grown without Bettman also, things like streaming or better worldwide coverage have nothing to do with a commissioner these things happened because of advanced technology, internet-flatrates and the emergence of smartphones, tablets.
In terms of owners pocket:
Guess what, the payroll for guys like the best owner in all of sports is still high the only difference being he has to use his money to support failed and questionable franchises in markets that shouldn't even have a team to begin with. The Blues for example are having a great team and yet can't even fill their arena, so why support and help them signing Pietrangelo? Makes no sense to me, Mr. I should be allowed to use his money to ice a great team, so should Dolan, Peddie, Acquinli, Pegula...The last CBA had something like the top 10 clubs in terms of revenue paying out 200 million to revenue sharing so that's 20 million for each club -->grants you 2 absolute superstars!
So sorry if I am not buying into the whole Bettman has done wonderful things no he hasn't and never will, watering down the Winterclassic is just another mistake.