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NHL sets salary cap at $69 million for next season

Jun 27, 2014, 5:07 PM EDT

Gary Bettman Getty Images

Just hours before the first pick was revealed at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, the league had an announcement of its own — the salary cap for 2014-15 will rise to $69 million.

From the NHL:

The National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association today announced that the Team Payroll Range established for the 2014-15 League Year, pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, provides for a Lower Limit of $51 million, an Adjusted Midpoint of $60 million and an Upper Limit of $69 million.

This is a bump from the $64.3 million teams worked under last season, but lower than some expected — several pundits thought the figure would be at least $70M. Because of that, we could see less fluidity in the trade and free agent markets than expected, which would be a shame as both have been filled with rumors and speculation leading up to the draft.

To get a sense of what the $69M figure does to the NHL’s 10 highest payrolls, check out this (courtesy CapGeek):



  1. lowenni - Jun 27, 2014 at 5:15 PM

    Pretty sizable bump although I thought it would hit 70. Seems like a reasonable amount, enough for teams to spend a good amount of money but not bury some of the lower spending teams. Plus there was the whole Canadian dollar thing.

  2. avfanforlife - Jun 27, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    AV’s have nearly 21 mil in CAP space and won’t go an extra 500k-1mil or so to keep ROR and Stats… What am I missing here? Toss in 1 more D man and the’s get this season started!

    • avfanforlife - Jun 27, 2014 at 5:21 PM


  3. endusersolutions2013 - Jun 27, 2014 at 5:22 PM

    Years ago, a comedian named Henny Youngman used the line “Take my wife – Please!”. Well looking at the less than expected cap and where the ‘Hawks are, I have a restatement:

    “Take our Versteeg, PLEASE!!!”

    • blackhawksdynasty - Jun 27, 2014 at 6:42 PM

      Guessing the only Henny Youngman lines you know are the ones from “Goodfellas”

  4. pitpenguinsrulez - Jun 27, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    Philly, Chicago, & Boston look to be in a pickle in terms of cap space.

    • hawksin5 - Jun 27, 2014 at 5:35 PM

      ehh not so much CHI, 22 players signed and just over cap. philly is in trouble, boston not too far behind. and pitt isn’t in good shape either, with only 14 players signed. that leaves 8 players for 14M or 1.something per player…..

    • wjarvis - Jun 27, 2014 at 5:48 PM

      While the Hawks are over the cap right now, I don’t think they’ll be in too much trouble. I’m guessing they’ve asked Rozsival for the 8 teams he would refuse a trade to.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Jun 28, 2014 at 12:41 AM

      If the Flyers are able to dump Lecavalier and/or possibly deal Coburn they will have flexibility (with Prongers LTIR exception). Expect Scott Laughton to take a roster spot for cheap and Michael Raffl will take on a bigger role (1.1mil)… maybe even on Giroux’s wing. On the backend they could have a rookie like Gostisbehere or Mark Alt step up. I don’t expect Vinny to be moved until after July 2nd when he’s due a bonus, I have a feeling that’s what is holding up any potential move. Once that’s done Hextall will prob look to fill holes with young guys or under the radar signings.

      It’s not an ideal situation but Hextall is working to get us out from under some excessive contracts without giving up too much. It’s not as if there are any free agents that would’ve made a huge difference in Philly. There’s still going to be a solid core in place.

  5. luz56 - Jun 27, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    Is it any wonder that the bottom 4 spenders are also 4 of the 5 bottom teams drafting?? I know there is always the exception to the rule but…..

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 27, 2014 at 5:40 PM

      For years the Flames were in the top 10, top 5 even, in terms of payroll and for those years they were generally drafting around 10th, shedding payroll and drafting higher for a couple of years to get a good base of players isn’t a bad thing. As the young players get older the payroll will quickly go up.

  6. atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 27, 2014 at 5:38 PM

    As a Calgary fan I say that we’ll gladly take one of your bad contracts off your hands Bruins, Flyers, Blackhawks etc. but we’ll also take one of your best prospects to do it.

    • flyerspsu - Jun 29, 2014 at 12:38 PM

      makes sense … *sarcasm*

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 29, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        Teams need to get rid of bad contracts to free up cap space, as a Flyers fan you should be familiar with that scenario, Calgary has lots of cap room and the ability to take those contracts, but they’re not going to do it to be charitable, they’ll demand an asset as well.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 29, 2014 at 12:44 PM

        Also when you look at how many teams are right up against the cap, I think you’ll see a few of these types of trades this year. Bad contract + good prospect for future mid to late round pick or a lesser prospect.

  7. rsl22 - Jun 27, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    Seems like a difference of only $1MM from the expectations won’t have a measurable affect on activity. If you were going to do something when the cap is at $70MM, then you’re probably just as likely to do something at $69MM.

    • wjarvis - Jun 27, 2014 at 6:01 PM

      Most thought that the cap would be closer to $71 million and probably a little over, so it’s more than a $1 million difference. You’re right it won’t make a giant impact, but it is still a significant impact since it means teams have a few million less to entice a FA to sign with their team while also filling out the roster. For teams like the Hawks, who thought they were set for the year, they will now be forced to make a move.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Jun 27, 2014 at 6:16 PM

        No they weren’t set – need a 2c and likely a D-man. Roz is slowing, and through suspect initial roster decisions at the start of the year and a VERY suspect trade, Hawks lost their two top AHL blue liners last year.

      • wjarvis - Jun 27, 2014 at 7:08 PM

        Moves the Hawks would like to make and what they actually would do before the season are very different things. Yes the Hawks would like to add a true 2C, we’ve been waiting years for that to happen and I didn’t see any reason to believe they’d add an established 2C this offseason. They’ve been successful enough without one, and haven’t had the cap space to make it work as you’re well aware.

        Yes it’d be nice if the Hawks had Stanton or Olsen available especially since the Versteeg trade clearly didn’t work out last year, I’m hoping it truly was because his knee wasn’t back to 100%. He’s going to be harder to get rid of though too, because he sucked last year. If he returns to form this year, it still wouldn’t be a bad trade (I know that’s a big if).

        The Hawks were not done making moves, but what I think they had planned were minimal signings and they didn’t believe they’d be forced to move salary. The Hawks would love to move Rozsival, but that may be difficult with his limited no trade clause. I think the Hawks would like either Dahlbeck or Clendening to play their way into the lineup, but didn’t want to be forced to play them. They didn’t have the cap space to sign a veteran better than Brookbank or Rozsival on D before the lower than expected cap was announced anyway, so bringing up prospects was really the only path for improvement.

  8. guitarisgood4u - Jun 27, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    lol, 69.

  9. areaman714 - Jun 27, 2014 at 5:47 PM

    Ducks, after Kesler, are still below to floor. They have a couple of RFA’s and still some shopping to do! LET’S GO DUCKS!!

  10. phillyphannn83 - Jun 27, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    Those numbers aren’t entirely accurate. The Flyers # for example, still includes Prongers inflated salary which isn’t included in the operating cap because he’s on LTIR.

    • wjarvis - Jun 27, 2014 at 6:10 PM

      Savard for the Bruins as well, but both teams still don’t have much cap flexibility.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 27, 2014 at 6:13 PM

      Doesn’t come off until the first day of the season, teams can go 10% over the cap for awhile but I’m not sure when they need to be in compliance by, if it’s before the Pronger contract comes off then it’s an issue.

  11. hockeydon10 - Jun 27, 2014 at 7:07 PM

    So, after the season that saw a bunch of money generating outdoor games – including the largest capacity outdoor game yet – sees the cap raise 4.7M.

    After the lockout shortened season saw the cap raise 4.3M?

    I must be retarded for not seeing something here. Or we have to call shenanigans.

    • rmccleary97 - Jun 28, 2014 at 12:14 AM

      The cap numbers for ’12-13 and ’13-14 weren’t based on actual revenues; they were artificially set based on expected damage to revenues from the lockout (it was specified as $64.3M in the CBA, not set against actual revenues). This year’s cap is the first one under the new CBA to be based off of actual revenues in the prior year.

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