The cap floor – aka the minimum total cap hit a team can carry – will reportedly come in at $55.4 million.
Update: The league has made this official, announcing the changes to next season’s salary cap on Sunday afternoon.
Most obviously, this is a boon for contending teams, particularly ones with tight salary cap situations like the Washington Capitals, New York Rangers, and (eternally) Chicago Blackhawks.
Naturally, it also should be fruitful for free agents, especially unrestricted ones. Kevin Shattenkirk, T.J. Oshie, Alex Radulov, Joe Thornton, and even Ilya Kovalchuk are probably elated by this news.
On the other hand, budget teams might strain … or perhaps fight with the Vegas Golden Knights to take contracts that are heavier on cap hits and lighter on salary?
Overall, if you’re into off-season stories, this is a big plus. With the expansion draft coming, this could be the most exciting hockey summer in ages.