The wheeling and dealing has already begun ahead of the start of the 2019 NHL Draft this weekend. Between trades, buyouts, and extensions, general managers are getting to work on preparing for next season.
There is one problem, however, as Friday approaches and the draft begins. Due to the Stanley Cup Final going seven games, the calculations that determine the salary cap ceiling and floor have yet to be finalized. GMs were given a projection of an $83M ceiling back during their meetings in December, but official numbers may not be finalized until Saturday — and the upper limit may come in lower than expected.
The cap ceiling for the 2018-19 season was $79.5M, an increase from $75M from 2017-18.
Now, if you’re a general manager who likes to spend to the cap ceiling to maximize your efforts to win the Stanley Cup, well you’re in quite the holding pattern at the moment. The delay could also have a major impact on trade talks this weekend, possibly making for a quiet Friday night on the draft floor as general manager wait and see where the range ends up.