Tag: salary cap

2015 NHL All-Star Weeknd - Commissioners Press Conference

Bettman says falling Canadian dollar won’t drastically impact the salary cap


As the Canadian dollar continues to tumble, it’s currently hovering around $0.80 USD, the NHL says it will not have a significant impact on the salary cap for next season.

According to Commissioner Gary Bettman, the Canadian dollar will not cause the salary cap “to fall off a cliff”. During his press conference Saturday, Bettman said the league took into account the falling Canadian dollar for its latest cap projections presented to NHL teams at Saturday morning’s board of governor’s meeting.

For example, should the Canadian dollar continue to trade around $0.80 USD, next season’s salary cap ceiling would be $71.6 million. If the Canadian dollar is at $0.82 USD, the cap ceiling would be $72.2 million.

By comparison the cap ceiling this season is at $69 million.

Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly clarified that the figures presented includes the NHLPA’s five percent escalator.

“The CBA actually contemplates the five percent as standard,” said Daly. “I don’t anticipate that’s going to be an issue. Because I think the players’ association wants to make sure where the cap goes as well because it’s in their interest to do it. I don’t anticipate any issue on the five percent inflator.”

The NHL’s December projections had the salary cap for next season at $73 million so today’s news isn’t that alarming. That will change of course if the Canadian dollar continues to slide.

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

Dave Nonis

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.

Report: NHL comes off $60 million cap for 2013-14

Gary Bettman

Progress is apparently being made in New York City between the NHL and NHLPA.

Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports the NHL has come off their demand to have a $60 million salary cap for the 2013-14 season. The $60 million cap for next season had been one of the NHL’s big sticking points in the latest round of negotiations as the players would like to see it a bit higher, around $65 million.

One of the catches for the players’ association should the cap jump up is, as James Mirtle of The Globe And Mail details, an increase in escrow payments. You could consider this development all a part of doing actual bargaining.

Rangers to put Staal on LTIR, gain cap space

Marc Staal
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Interesting bit of news from the New York Post’s Larry Brooks about some salary cap finagling in the Big Apple. According to Brooks, the Rangers have a series of moves in place to gain an additional $3.975 million of cap space — by putting assistant captain Marc Staal on Long Term Injury Reserve.

It’s believed once the Rangers make the necessary moves to come as close to possible to the cap — including the potential recall of Mats Zuccarello from the AHL Whale in the aftermath of the groin injury suffered by Wojtek Wolski in the first period of last night’s 2-1 shootout victory over the Ducks — they will then sign and register the contract of free-agent defenseman Anton Stralman, who has agreed to terms on a one-year deal worth $900,000.

Once that’s all done, New York will reportedly put Staal on LTIR (which he already qualifies for, having been sidelined for at least 10 games and/or 24 days.) The key for the Rangers is getting as close to the $64.3-million cap as possible before putting Staal on LTIR, because they can only gain the difference between Staal’s cap hit and the amount of cap space available at the time he goes on. Isn’t the CBA fun?

Brooks also notes that Staal’s been plagued by headaches since suffering a concussion on Feb. 22 and that head coach John Tortorella says his status remains unchanged.

So without getting too far ahead of ourselves, let’s drum up a trade rumor!

Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Suter (an impending UFA) is making $3.5-million this season. With the Preds breaking the bank to extend Pekka Rinne (likely putting Shea Weber next on the “to do” list), Suter could be made available. His agent, Neil Sheehy, will resume contract talks with Preds GM David Poile in the coming weeks, but note what ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun wrote today:

“If the Preds don’t have Suter locked up as the Feb. 27 trade deadline approaches, Poile will have a mighty difficult decision to make. He didn’t move pending UFA Dan Hamhuis a few years back and saw him walk away to Vancouver in the summer. If the Preds aren’t in a playoff spot Feb 27, it’s a no-brainer: You move Suter and maximize his asset value.”

Potential hiccups:

1) Poile’s made it clear he wants to keep Rinne, Weber and Suter.

2) Even if Nashville can’t get Suter signed, they might be in a playoff spot/no position to trade him.

3) LeBrun suggests Suter could be looking for “at least $6.5 million” on a new deal, which could be way out of New York’s wheelhouse (the Rangers will already have three players making $6.5-million-plus next year: Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards and Henrik Lundqvist.)

4) New York might not even want Suter.

5) This may be based entirely on the fact I really like Suter and would want him on my team.

So there definitely are issues with what’s proposed above.

But hey, it’s always fun to speculate.

What the NHL and NHLPA might discuss next summer once current CBA expires

Gary Bettman

This has not been an easy summer for the NHL by any means. Perhaps the post-Game 7 Vancouver riots acted as an ominous introduction for months in which most of the biggest stories were negative. From more manageable headaches like Drew Doughty’s contract holdout situation to stomach-churning issues such as Sidney Crosby’s battle with post-concussion syndrome and the troubling series of enforcer deaths, the notion that next season cannot come soon enough takes on added meaning in 2011.

Yet as bad as things have been lately, next summer could be foreboding in its own right for a reason few of us even want to consider: the possibility of another lockout. The league seems like it’s in much, much better shape heading into the summer of 2012 than it did going into the summer of 2004, but the fear is there since the Collective Bargaining Agreement will expire.

The good news is that the NHL isn’t likely to shoot for enormous changes like instituting a salary cap or attempting to radically improve the style of play (among other alterations that the damaging 2004-05 lockout gave way to). That doesn’t mean that the league and its players association won’t be locked in some tough battles, though.

Tony Gallagher took a look at some of the hot button issues that will likely be discussed next summer as the parties try to hash out another CBA. It’s a piece worth reading from top to bottom, but PHT will take a look at some of the most interesting bits.

Let’s start things off on two issues that might have an impact on the league’s poorest teams.

In speaking to a number of informed people around the league on both sides of the fence, it’s clear that one of the league’s biggest problems within the present agreement is the obligation to enforce a floor on the genuinely pathetic franchises around the league.

The teams that have been losing money and crying wolf for the past 10 years are now being forced to pay out in the neighbourhood of US$45 million, which is forcing them into a position of losing money in some cases, and the league will be looking toward either lowering the floor or eliminating it altogether. That is something the players will likely vigorously defend.


The Torontos, Montreals and Vancouvers keep handing over money to the same dud franchises year after year with the question being whether that will continue to be the case, and if so, will that pool of money increase or decrease? And how will it be comprised going forward.

A particularly wrangling issue is all playoff teams having to contribute one-third of all revenue sharing from their first-round take, a system that actually rewards franchises (most notably Toronto) for missing the playoffs.

That’s the interesting thing about the current CBA; there are provisions that both hurt and help the league’s less successful teams. (Then again, the high cap floor/playoff revenue sharing combo might have the worst impact on not-so-deep-pocketed clubs like the Nashville Predators, who use their guile more often than big pay checks to make the playoffs.) To make things fair, the league probably wouldn’t want to eliminate the salary cap floor without keeping a minimum payroll for teams who want to benefit from shared revenue.

Naturally, the big money questions will be the biggest sticking points. The other major money matter is guaranteed contracts (and owners’ urges to do away with them). Considering the dangers involved in the sport, it would be a hard sell to roll back guarantees. After all, who’s going to want to risk breaking a bone by blocking a shot if they could lose their job shortly afterward?

Gallagher’s most interesting point comes late in the article, where he claims that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA head Donald Fehr have already won some big labor battles in their day, so they might be more willing to avoid a big standoff. It would be great if that ends up being true, but we’ll need to wait and see if that bit of sunshine turns out to be the light at the end of a (hopefully short) negotiating tunnel or just an example of an incorrect but educated guess.

Click here to read more about the probable talking points during the 2012 CBA meetings.