The NHL's financial bounceback from the pandemic could be on a faster track than originally expected.
According to deputy commissioner Bill Daly, during an interview for an upcoming episode of 31 Thoughts: The Podcast with Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek, the league expects the salary cap to increase by $1 million for the 2022-23 season.
"I think we move, at least our current projections on revenue, move us into a million dollar raise a year starting next year," Daly told Friedman and Marek. "So I do expect that will kick in. We do have flexibility under our formula -- under our agreement with the players' association -- to revisit that to the extent there's a need to revisit that and perhaps make the increase greater. But certainly in the short-term we've been telling our clubs to kind of plan on $1 million increases in the cap."
Daly's announcement comes after NHL commissioner Gary Bettman had previously said the salary cap would remain flat at its current ceiling -- $81.5 million -- for "the immediate future." Bettman cited reduced attendance and lost revenue streams as some of the reasons the salary cap would remain unchanged.
"As part of that, the salary cap is basically going to be flat until we recover the overpayments through the escrow that we've built up both in the return to play from last season, which obviously had to be concluded under different circumstances, and this season we're obviously... there's a major escrow building up because of the fact that there's no attendance," Bettman said in March.
Daly made some other announcements during his interview with Friedman and Marek:
• Ontario has yet to determine how many fans will be allowed to attend Maple Leafs and Senators games this season but the Canucks and Canadiens will begin with reduced fan capacity. The Flames, Oilers and Jets have been approved to operate at full capacity.
• A report on an investigation into a gambling accusation made against Sharks star Evander Kane is expected to be finalized before the start of training camp.
• An investigation into allegations against the Blackhawks over how the team handled a sexual assault accusation made against a former coach by two players is ongoing with no timetable for its completion.
Listen to Daly's full interview on an upcoming episode of 31 Thoughts: The Podcast.