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NHL salary cap to rise after record revenues

June 26, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — After a year of record revenues, the NHL salary cap is going up again.

The exact figure for the 2014-15 season hasn’t been set yet, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said on Thursday following a meeting of the league’s board of governors, but he hoped it would be worked out with the players’ association before the draft on Friday.

The final number is expected to be in the high $60 millions or low $70 millions. That gives general managers a guideline as they head into the draft and the free-agent shopping season that begins on Tuesday.

Teams that have large amounts of cap space can already make their offseason plans, whether it be trades or free-agent signings, without knowing the final cap number.

“I expect to see a lot more trades than we normally see,” Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said. “There’s so much parity in the league, everyone is trying to get ahead.”

Last season’s salary cap sat at $64.3 million, quite a jump from the original cap number of $39 million, established after the lockout-canceled season of 2004-05. The only time the cap number dropped from the previous season was in 2012-13 following another lockout when the figure was set at $60 million after being $64.3 in 2011-12.

Bettman said number-crunching was still being done to determine what the league’s revenues were last season, but he declared they were at an all-time high.

“It is a record number, which is a testament to the strength of the game and our fans, and how competitive things are,” he said.

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