From TSN’s Bob McKenzie, ahead of next week’s NHL Board of Governors meetings:
The current salary cap is $64.3 million, so a jump up to $70 million, or around there, for next season would be a significant one.
How much higher could the cap go? According to an estimate by the Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle, the answer is, a lot higher.
Granted, not everyone is as bullish on the NHL’s revenue growth.
“I don’t know if I’m in the minority, but I’m hesitant; there’s no accountability for these random people making these predictions the cap is going to be $80 million [in four seasons],” Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman told ESPNChicago.com on Friday. “I might be wrong. I think there’s folly. There’s so many factors that go into the salary cap.
“Because there’s a new television deal, I’m not going to assume it’s going to be $80 million. I don’t operate that way. If you base your assumptions on predictions and you’re wrong, I can’t say, ‘They said it was going to be $80 million.’ I’m going to wait to see where it goes. I think it’s safe to say it’s going to go up. It’s think it’s a little bit irresponsible to say where it’s going to be unless you have intricate knowledge of the cap.”
Bowman, of course, will soon need to find room to sign Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, each of whom can become an unrestricted free agent after next season. So the ‘Hawks will be particularly interested in the league’s projections next week.
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Mike Weaver has retired. The 37-year-old defenseman made the announcement today via the NHLPA.
“What an enjoyable experience to do something you love for 11 years in the NHL and 15 years in professional hockey,” said Weaver in a release. “I could never have imagined this. Hockey is more than just a game to me. Thanks to the Atlanta Thrashers, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues, Florida Panthers and the Montreal Canadiens.
“I would also like to thank the fans who brought the energy and excitement every night to the arenas. When the game starts, your teammates are who you trust, rely on and respect the most. Thank you to all my teammates for all the memories that will last a lifetime.”
Undrafted out of Michigan State, Weaver ended up playing 633 games in the NHL, plus 28 more in the playoffs.
Dylan Larkin — despite being just 19 years old — will begin the season on the Detroit Red Wings, a team not normally accustomed to having teenagers in the lineup.
Coach Jeff Blashill confirmed the news this morning. Larkin could apparently start on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader.
Larkin, the 15th overall pick in the 2014 draft, had three goals and one assist in five preseason games. A natural center, he’s shown the potential to one day step into the kind of “big-time” role that Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk have played for so long in Detroit.
“You have to give our scouts credit,” former coach Mike Babcock told ESPN in May. “We got a great pick where we picked. How high end is he? How soon?”
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