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Report: Salary cap could rise to $80 million in four years

Aug 21, 2013, 11:47 AM EDT

Dave Nonis AP

There’s good news for players whose contracts are expiring in the near future. The salary cap could be sky-high in just a few years.

CBC’s Elliotte Friedman reported on Sportsnet 590 The Fan in Toronto yesterday (via The Score) that some NHL insiders believe the salary cap could rise as high as $80 million in just four years. The cap this season is set at $64.3 million.

The cap going up isn’t a surprise but the possibility of seeing it rise as much as $16 million in just four seasons is something many teams may not be prepared for. Last season, teams got to spend up to just over $70 million but had to come back down this year.

The cap is expected to rise again next season which could (is?) making negotiations with potential future free agents awkward.

Take a look at the New York Rangers who have Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Callahan, and Dan Girardi as potential unrestricted free agents next summer. GM Dave Nonis could be in a bind as well with the Toronto Maple Leafs as both Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf can hit the market as well.

General managers may have to sit tight and wait to see how high it could be before really opening their owners’ wallets.

  1. freneticgarfieldfan - Aug 21, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    Exactly what was the lock-out for?

    • govtminion - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:06 PM

      I was just thinking while reading that, “good thing we had that lockout so that this could be prevented!”

      • 950003cups - Aug 21, 2013 at 1:16 PM

        HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO SAY THIS SINCE THE 90’s! So as a Devils fan I take great joy in finally getting to say this in response to this article:

        $80,000,000 ??? HA!! Chump Change!!!!!!!!!!! Make it an even $100,000,000!!

        THAT FELT GREAT!!!!!!

      • 950003cups - Aug 21, 2013 at 1:56 PM

        Somewhere in Russia there is a loud noise that sounds a lot like “NOOOOOOOOOOO!!! VUY DAY NOT SAY DIS BEFORE I RETIRE??!!!?!”

        That is the voice of Ilya Kovalchuk!

    • westinpat - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:45 PM

      To figure out who gets the biggest slice of pie and all the ice cream. Cake was in negotiation but no one could agree on the type so there was a lockout.

    • sunderlanding - Aug 21, 2013 at 3:57 PM

      To make sure it wasn’t 80 million this year.

      • dueman - Aug 21, 2013 at 6:03 PM

        There you go.

    • hockeyflow33 - Aug 21, 2013 at 5:15 PM

      Everyone wanted a longer vacation

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 21, 2013 at 7:40 PM

      The problem with Lockouts/Strikes is that it’s all about the money is made and shared between Owners and Players.

      Then the Lockout or strike ends and the idiot GMs and Agents come back into the picture and mess it all up again.

    • pfhockey - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:03 PM

      how to split the revenue/money but apparently the NHL is increasing in popularity

  2. ibieiniid - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    well….. that should be fun.

  3. rodeoclowndc - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    And that will be right about the time the ‘Yotes $50mil watermark could be reached. Hmm…

  4. Stiller43 - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    That makes this pens fan happy!

    • stakex - Aug 21, 2013 at 2:25 PM

      Even if it does go up that much, the Pens still have spent a very large chuck of their cap on just a handful of players. Not to mention if it goes up that much, the league minimum/maximum as well as player asking price will go up along with it. so sure it will help them, but since it goes up for everyone the Pens will still have major cap issues.

  5. ufostomper - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    Pens suck

  6. m1k3g - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    U MAD BRO?

    Ray Shero

    • ibieiniid - Aug 21, 2013 at 2:37 PM

      nah, nobody that hasn’t had a Monster energy drink in the past 6 hours uses that lame-ass phrase.

    • sunderlanding - Aug 21, 2013 at 3:56 PM

      U DUMB BRO? Seriously, people still use that expression? Don’t you realize it makes you look stupid and uncreative?

      • m1k3g - Aug 21, 2013 at 6:49 PM

        Damn, some of you dumbasses need to lighten up. It’s just some lighthearted trolling.

      • sunderlanding - Aug 22, 2013 at 11:41 PM

        If you’re going to troll at least be creative about it.

      • ibieiniid - Aug 22, 2013 at 8:53 AM

        nobody minds trolling here, trust me. we mind seeing grown men use phrases our kids use incessantly.

    • biasedhomer - Aug 21, 2013 at 6:17 PM

      Ray Shero would never utter or write down such a silly phrase.

  7. jb8588 - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    Unfortunetely this comes up to four years too late for the Lightning to keep Lecavalier in the mix. Seems like the lockout didn’t do much of anything.

  8. therealjr - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    The year-to-year adjustments of the salary cap are counter-productive, it should be set in 4 year increments and let escrow do what it’s supposed to do and true up the revenues.

    Players should take a higher level view of this. If the salary cap is artificially high, the cycle of overpayment for FA invariably leads to more being held back in escrow.

  9. somekat - Aug 21, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    I have no problem with the cap going up, even if it goes up more than that. The cap, IMO, should just be in place to prevent a Yankee-ish situation from 20-12 year ago, where they had guys on the bench that would of been the highest salary on half the teams they were playing.

    The cap shouldn’t be so low that teams that make more money, for themselves and the bottom feeders, can’t get a bit of an advantage. Or an owner of a team that doesn’t make money willing to gamble

    • ibieiniid - Aug 21, 2013 at 2:41 PM

      that’s kinda where it is now though. there’s a reason teams are spending below the cap. some can’t justify spending 15mil more to lose. you don’t have to raise the cap to make that the situation. raising the cap only give the rich teams MORE of an advantage.

  10. jcmeyer10 - Aug 21, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    That Tukka deal will look downright cheap if they can get 24 million dollars onto that current cap.

  11. greatmiamisportsmind - Aug 21, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Remember when everyone (except Wild fans) gave crap about Fletcher signing Parise and Suter to monster deals that tied up the Wild’s salary cap?

    Just think now, next summer they have close to 17 million to resign Pominville, and lure Vanek to Minnesota. By the time the Wild prized prospects’ have their contracts up for renewal, the Wild should have no problem fitting them in as well.

    • therealjr - Aug 21, 2013 at 11:11 PM

      great minnesotasports is an oxymoron.

      • koho6right - Aug 26, 2013 at 4:04 PM

        Yea maybe but his name is greatMIAMIsportsmind….not minnesota

  12. kaptaanamerica - Aug 21, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    I hate the 50% revenue split.players should get a fixed amount with annual inflation adjustments.then the owners would make the money and get to spend it on marketing, arena improvements, fan appreciation, out keeping ticketprices down.

    • ray2013 - Aug 21, 2013 at 3:10 PM

      Your comment made me think of the NBA: you see owners there like Cuban, who spends all kinds of money like you’re talking about. But you also see owners like Sarver (Suns), who would take any extra money given to him, and put it in his pocket.

      I don’t think it’s a given that the extra revenues would be re-invested back into the teams. Ideally it would, but realistically, some owners are going to lose money, and some owners will pocket any additional revenues.

  13. hockeydon10 - Aug 21, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    As a fan of the Detroit Red Wings, this makes me happy.

  14. greatmiamisportsmind - Aug 21, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    For those of you asking what was the lockout for? The owners got what they wanted. A bigger piece if the money pie. If the players salary cap is going up, imagine what the owners pocket books are going to be looking up.

  15. phillyphanatic77 - Aug 21, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    Paul Holmgren is licking his chops. Especially with some of the potential FAs next summer- Kessel, Phaneuf, Lundqvist, Girardi, Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Corey Crawford, Thomas Vanek, Ryan Miller, Matt Moulson, Andrew MacDonald, Alex Steen, Halak/Elliot, Paul Stastny, O’Reilly (RFA), the Sedins, Milan Michalek, Andrei Markov, Gaborik, etc. Even if half those guys don’t make it to the open market it will still blow away this past FA class. And if this prediction is accurate then teams will spend like they’ve never spent before; which is pretty amazing considering some of the money flying around the past few years. It’s gonna be crazy summer next year… good thing we had a lockout to keep spending under control.

    • ibieiniid - Aug 21, 2013 at 4:04 PM

      i don’t think we necessarily need the extra cap space next year to grab one or two of those guys. between Mesz and Timonen, that’s 10 mil he’s got to spend on upgrading the defense. Sure, those are tough guys to replace, but maybe in a year, it’ll be a bit easier to do. and as far as offense, this is the season of truth for Schenn and Read. granted, that’s only 4 mil, but still, the team will have a bit of room to work with in the near future.

      all that being said…… some extra space WOULD be nice.

      • biasedhomer - Aug 21, 2013 at 6:20 PM

        Even if Read continues his success, I don’t see them resigning him Some team will offer him David Clarkson type money ($4.5M or even more, for 5 years). The Flyers should focus on signing (or trading for) a replacement for Kimmo.

  16. Jackson Scofield - Aug 21, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Good news for big-market teams, means the Hawks may be able to add even more and keep all their depth guys as well, we have a shot at a few more championships… something I wish the Cubs could do.

  17. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 21, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Even if it goes up 4 mil a year, in two years it will be barely be more than it was last year. So good communication between GMs and players they want to keep and two way flexibility will be “win wins”.

    I see one and two year agreements for younger guys in the process of proving themselves that teams believe a very good “keepers” getting bumped up.

  18. 19to77 - Aug 21, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Somewhere, Glen Sather is looking up which 30+ UFAs he’ll be able to throw exorbitant lifetime contracts at.

  19. nyrnashty - Aug 21, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    I’m a Ranger fan and I’m totally against the cap going up that high. We could spend as much as the Yankees, so could Toronto MTL Philly etc, but the rising cap would make half the teams irrelevant and the NHL would become La Liga (That’s a two team league). The NHL would become a 5-10 team league tops. Don’t get me wrong the Rangers would still buy all the wrong players like 97-03, but other teams wouldn’t. I think the high cap is bad for the overall game unless Bettman can relocate and find rich new owners for half the current teams that wouldn’t be able to keep up. It’s not Baseball there wouldn’t be a team like the Oakland A’s, or Tampa Rays!

  20. tomjc43 - Aug 22, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Simply put if revenue grows at 5% per year the HRR avge per team will be $164MM per team by the year 2018-19 so at a 50% share top the cap the cap will be $82MM. The lockout was for the 50% the players can’t do arithmetic at compound interest.

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