NHL preparing teams for sharp salary cap increase over next three seasons

Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews (34) celebrates after scoring on Detroit Red Wings goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic (39) during second period NHL hockey action in Toronto, Tuesday, April 26, 2022. It is 59th goal of the season for Matthews. (CP)

The NHL salary cap rose for the first time in three seasons this year, setting at $82.5 million for 2022-23. As the league continues to recover from the revenue challenges presented by COVID and returns to normalcy, that upper limit should begin to rise considerably more in the coming years. 

According to multiple sources NHL teams have been given some guidance on where the cap could be going over the next few seasons. Please understand these are projections and possibilities and an educated guess on where we could be going, not a guarantee of where things will be. 




$82.5 million


$83.5 million


$87.5 million – $88 million


Approximately $92 million

This kind of information is critical for teams to plan for the future, with Ottawa signing Tim Stutzle and Josh Norris to eight year contract extensions this summer and Colorado signing Nathan MacKinnon for eight years and a $12.6 million AAV last week. 

Meantime, the Boston Bruins must figure out an extension with 2023 UFA to be David Pastrnak, and the Toronto Maple Leafs are nine months away from being able to sign Auston Matthews to an extension.

“I’ve seen some preliminary estimates recently which would make me more optimistic on the cap going up sooner whether that’s in two seasons or three seasons, I think it’s more likely than not two seasons rather than three,” Bill Daly said on the 32 Thoughts podcast this month. 

The cap ceiling rose every season from 2013-14 until 2019-20.

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