General managers around the NHL could have plenty of room to bolster their rosters before the 2018-19 season rolls around as the league is hoping the salary cap could rise to somewhere in the neighbourhood of $80 million next year.
An update on next season’s salary cap is expected to come when the league’s Board of Governors meet this week in Florida, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
“There is a sense and a hope that they’re going to hear that the league is hoping for something in the neighbourhood of $80 million,” Friedman said during Hockey Night in Canada’s Headlines segment on Saturday. “We’re at $75 million now—they’re hoping to hear something around $80 million, depending on what the Players’ Association wants to do.”
With the cap sitting at $75 million this season, a jump to $80 million would serve as the biggest yearly rise since the 2014-15 campaign, when the league’s cap increased from $64.3 million to $69 million.
The cap rose by just $2 million between this season and last, having sat at $73 million for the 2016-17 campaign.
A $5-million increase could provide some much-needed breathing room for a few different clubs around the league.
The Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning are each projected to have roughly $10-11 million in cap space next season with the ceiling at its current $75 million, according to CapFriendly. Both teams have some key names to re-sign, meaning a significant cap bump could grant them the opportunity to keep their current names and perhaps add some others.
For clubs like the Nashville Predators, Los Angeles Kings and Florida Panthers, who have their cores locked up and would similarly have roughly $8-10 million if the cap remained the same, an extra $5 million might give them an opportunity to add another significant piece to the mix.
Much is yet to be determined before it can be assumed that such an increase will take place, however, more clarity should come after the league’s Board of Governors meet on Thursday and Friday.