Gary Bettman is clearly an emotional man.
He is also a man who does not understand his job.
He is thoroughly confrontational and obviously willing to take on players in a battle over finances. He wants to win that battle so he can make more money for those who keep him employed.
Bettman has his position as the commissioner of the NHL at the pleasure of the NHL owners. They can fire him if they choose. As a result, Bettman works to make them money.
He does this by increasing television revenues and getting other outside income. He does this by limiting how much the league has to pay its players in salary.
So, Bettman may have the title of NHL commissioner, but he's really just an advocate for the NHL owners.