The NHL salary cap looks to be going up to $80 million according to projections. Deputy commissioner and chief legal officer Bill Daly confirmed during a Monday press conference the 2018-19 cap. That number would signify an increase of $5 million from the current number of $75 million.
Bill Daly says the current projection for the salary cap is around $80 million, up $5 million from this season; however the NHL still needs to negotiate the growth factor with the NHLPA later in June so there's no hard number quite yet.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) May 28, 2018
NHL Salary Cap to Rise
A set number has not been finalized as of yet. The league also needs to consult with the National Hockey League Players Association in regards to yearly growth. There’s no word on if the salary floor will increase from $55.4 million.
The NHLPA did not use the option of the full-escalator clause last season, which would have made this year’s cap $77 million. Last year’s cap was projected to go anywhere from $75-$82 million on first reports.
The league also discussed that the NHL’s Board of Governors may vote on a proposed Seattle expansion team. League commissioner Gary Bettman also stated that the Ottawa Senators are not for sale. This is despite recent speculation about owner Eugene Melynk’s control of the team.
What It Means for the Future
The cap going up this means teams may be able to hang onto key players. One of the hardest decisions teams have to make is if they can afford to hang onto someone asking for a raise.
Cash-strapped teams will have a more breathing room to balance the books. General managers like Stan Bowman of the Chicago Blackhawks have been creative getting around the cap in recent seasons.
Teams like Chicago and the Nashville Predators have drafted well in recent seasons, but have to make moves to stay under the cap. The extra $5 million will go a long way in keeping one or two players they’d normally lose.
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