AP source: NHL salary cap will fall short of projections

NHL-commissioner-Bettman-speaks-at-press-conference

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks to the media prior to the start of the Stanley Cup Final. (Charles Krupa/AP)

VANCOUVER — The NHL salary cap for next season will be between $81.5 and $82 million, which is at least $1 million lower than initially projected, The Associated Press has confirmed.

The figure was disclosed Friday by a person with direct knowledge of the situation to the AP on condition of anonymity because it hasn’t been formally finalized and isn’t expected to be released until Saturday. The Athletic first reported the figures.

Initial projections had the salary cap increasing to $83 million from $79.5 million last season. The cap is calculated on a percentage of league revenue from the previous season. It goes into effect once the NHL’s free agency period opens on July 1, which coincides with the league’s new year.

The lower than expected figure will place a pinch on teams already at or near the cap figure by restricting their ability to add or re-sign players.

The Winnipeg Jets, for example, are shedding contracts to make room to eventually re-sign forwards Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor. Winnipeg recently traded defenceman Jacob Trouba to the New York Rangers, who are at the other end of the cap spectrum with nearly $20 million in cap space available.

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