NHLPA to discuss salary cap at this week’s meetings

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The NHLPA is meeting this week in Chicago, and what’s discussed could impact next season’s salary cap.

As you may know, the players’ association has the right under the CBA to propose a different growth factor than the standard five percent. That’s only happened once, ahead of the 2006-07 season, when the union and league agreed on a growth factor of zero percent. But a decade later, with escrow topping the list of players’ concerns, and after league revenues were hurt by a weakened Canadian dollar, there are at least the ingredients for it to happen again.

Following this week’s meetings, which will include a presentation and discussion on the growth factor, player reps will discuss the matter with their teammates, and then an Executive Board vote will be held. An agreement with the NHL then needs to be reached ahead of the June 30 deadline. Free agency opens on July 1.

On Monday, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said he expects the salary cap to remain “relatively flat” for next season. It’s currently at $71.4 million. In March, it was projected to rise to $74 million, though that was under the assumption the NHLPA would approve the full growth factor.

The consensus is that the NHLPA will, indeed, vote to accept the full five percent.

This year’s crop of free agents will be happy if that’s the case, though players like Duncan Keith might not be so thrilled.