There are actually a number of general managers, ex-players and other people in the sport who would do well as commissioner.
So who should replace Bettman?
Let's look at five possible candidates to replace Bettman when his tenure as commissioner ends.
Current Position: GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning
Steve Yzerman is one of the classiest people in hockey, and he has been quite successful throughout his career on and off the ice.
As a forward with the Detroit Red Wings, Yzerman was one of the best players of his generation, and the model for what a good NHL captain should be.
Yzerman is now the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, where he has built a strong young team through the draft and with trades.
In addition to his front office role with the Lightning, Yzerman has also been an alternate governor for the Red Wings and taken on management roles for Hockey Canada.
His success in a major market like Detroit, on the international level with Canada and in a Southern U.S. market such as Tampa Bay makes Yzerman a well-rounded candidate to be the next NHL commissioner.
Current Position: GM of the Washington Capitals
George McPhee has done a wonderful job helping the Capitals build consistent success, as well as increasing the sport's popularity in the Washington D.C. area.
McPhee has been in a management role at the NHL level for 20 years, and is one of the league's most intelligent executives.
As a former player, and someone who has enjoyed tremendous success as a general manager, McPhee has the experience needed to be a good NHL commissioner.
Current Position: GM of the New York Rangers
It's unlikely that Glen Sather will leave his position as New York Rangers general manager anytime soon, especially since he has a great amount of power in the organization; but Sather would be a strong commissioner given his willingness to make bold decisions and his great knowledge of the sport.
With an impressive amount of NHL experience as a player, a head coach and a general manager in Canadian and United States markets, Sather is qualified enough to be considered as a candidate for the next commissioner, if he's interested.
Current Position: Head Disciplinarian, NHL Department of Player Safety
Brendan Shanahan is now known as the league's disciplinarian, but he actually has three years of experience working for the NHL.
Since he's familiar with how the league operates and is also a former player, Shanahan would be able to step into a commissioner role and not be overwhelmed.
Another positive about Shanahan is that he recently retired from the NHL, so he has a good sense about the issues and problems surrounding today's players. An older commissioner might not have that kind of connection with the current generation of NHLers.
Current Position: Deputy Commissioner of the NHL
Bill Daly is one of the smartest guys in the sport, and as the Deputy Commissioner of the NHL, he knows first hand what it takes to be a commissioner.
He has also been in a prominent role during the current labor negotiations between the league and its players.
His law background and experience as an executive for the NHL makes him the most qualified person in this article to take over for Bettman.