The NHL and NHLPA announced the salary cap range for the 2019-20 season on Saturday evening, and the upper limit is a bit lower than it was previously expected to be throughout much of the past season.
The league will have an $81.5 million cap ceiling for this upcoming season and a $60.2 million floor.
That means the cap increased $2 million from the $79.5 million ceiling the league had for the 2018-19 season.
Earlier projections for the number had the number going up as high as the $83 million mark.
The lower number is obviously going to be problematic for teams that already pressed against the cap as every little bit of money counts for those teams. It is going to be an especially big problem for a team like the Toronto Maple Leafs that already had limited room to work with, needs to figure out a way to sign restricted free agent Mitch Marner (a potential target for an offer sheet), while also making improvements to a roster that has not finished higher than third place or won a playoff series in each of the past three seasons.
Other teams that are going to be feeling the crunch include the Vegas Golden Knights, Pittsburgh Penguins, Edmonton Oilers, Washington Capitals, and Dallas Stars, all of which have less than $10 million to work with at the current time.
There are currently six teams still sitting below the salary cap floor: Philadelphia Flyers, Winnipeg Jets, New Jersey Devils, Columbus Blue Jackets, Ottawa Senators, and Colorado Avalanche.
Teams like the Jets and Avalanche will easily get there, especially once they do new contracts for restricted free agents like Patrik Laine (Winnipeg), Kyle Connor (Winnipeg) and Mikko Rantanen (Colorado).