NHL salary cap could increase $3 million next season (Notebook)

SUNRISE, FL - JUNE 26: President Lou Lamoriello (L) and General Manager Ray Shero of the New Jersey Devils look on from the Devils draft table during Round One of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – The NHL salary cap could increase a total of $3 million for next season commissioner Gary Bettman said.

The salary cap is currently at $71.4 million and at the league’s Board of Governors Bettman, gave a rough estimate on where projections could be for next season.

“(Revenues) they’re obviously up. We project them to be up, notwithstanding the decline in the Canadian dollar,” Bettman said. “I gave (the governors) a very, very, very rough projection on what the cap could conceivably be next season, which will be somewhere between where it is now and up $3 million. That will depend on a variety of factors, including how good the preliminary projections are and discussions that we have to have with the Players’ Association in terms of what the right increase is.” 

At last year’s Board of Governors, the salary cap was projected to go up to $73 million. But a falling Canadian dollar, and other factors, meant less of an increase.

Several teams, such as the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks, had to jettison players in the offseason due to the minimal salary cap increase, up from $69 million. 

“From the managers' perspective, the cap going up gives you a little more flexibility to do what you need to do,” Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said.

How a general manager sees the number depends on how he views his roster. A big budget team wants a number to go higher. The salary cap probably matters less to a smaller market team.

"Having been with a team in the past, a cap team, the higher the number the better. For budget teams it maybe becomes more problematic as that lower number being raised,” New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero said. “Speaking for New Jersey, it’s fine for where we are, cap wise, it’s not an issue. Having been on the other side, where you are a cap team, you’re waiting on that number, you can start to do some planning. It’s not set in stone or concrete so you have to tread carefully.”

Said Kings president, business operations Luc Robitaille, "It is what it is. There’s nothing you can do. It’s the way the revenues are. You just have to manage within the cap and figure it out. It gives an opportunity to everyone. At the same time, if you believe in your team, you push it and try to go there.”

Bettman said the Canadian dollar, which traded at 74 cents for one US dollar on Monday, is not a major problem.

"While there's a lot of speculation as to what the declining Canadian dollar relative to the U.S. dollar means, most of that commentary and speculation is a little off of the mark," Bettman said. 

Bettman made sure to point out again that the number could indeed change.

“It's only December,” Bettman said. “We still have a lot more of the season to play and a lot more revenues to collect.”

Hiring Mayer

The NHL announced it had hired Steve Mayer as the league’s executive producer, programming and creative development. Mayer comes to the NHL from IMG where he was the executive producer and SVP.

Here is Mayer’s bio on IMG’s website:

Steve has produced many live sporting events including the NHL Winter Classic, All-Star Fantasy Draft and All-Star Skills Competition, and the Ryder Cup Opening and Closing Ceremonies. He has also been a producer on four Olympic games and was the EP of Bravo’s Olympic coverage from London in 2012. He also produced the Morning Show at the Olympic games in Sydney for NBC. Steve has also been the producer of the New York City Marathon (NBC) for the last nine years.

Said Bettman, “He’s going to be involved in aggregating content and making it accessible on all platforms. We’re thrilled to have him join in. One of his first and most important responsibilities will be coordinating the many, many, myriad of things that we intend to do with the centennial. We don’t intend to announce those yet, waiting until we get closer.”

Replacing Collins

Bettman said the league hadn’t come to a decision on how to replace recently departed COO John Collins. Bettman indicated he will take on some of Collins’ duties, at least initially. 

“He was extraordinarily creative and gave us a great deal of energy, but we have tremendous people in our organization, especially and including the people that were his direct reports and I know they're all feeling energized, as am I,” Bettman said. “I'm going to spend some time working directly with the seven (reports) and then we'll decide whether or not we want to bring somebody in to give us some bench strength in a particular area.” 

Happy with Rule Changes

Bettman said there were no problems with the league’s new 3-on-3 overtime or coach’s challenge. 

“Everybody’s pleased with the 3-on-3 and coach’s challenge. All good,” he said.

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The NHL did not cover executive compensation for hiring GMs or coaches or head injuries in the league’s Monday meetings. 

“We have to leave something for tomorrow,” Bettman added. 

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!