NHL salary cap will increase to $73 million for 2016-17

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PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 30: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during a press conference prior to Game One of the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Final between the San Jose Sharks and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center on May 30, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

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PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 30: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during a press conference prior to Game One of the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Final between the San Jose Sharks and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center on May 30, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

The NHL and NHLPA have agreed to increase the league’s salary cap to $73 million for next season. 

This means the Players’ Association used their 5 percent escalator in order to increase the cap level. It was reported earlier that if the NHLPA didn’t vote for their 5 percent escalator, the cap, which was at $71.4 million for last season, could have dropped below $70 million.

The salary cap floor was set at $54 million, up from $52.8 million last season.

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 At the NHL’s Board of Governors meeting in Pebble Beach in December, it was reported the cap would increase about $3 million.

At the league’s general managers meeting in March, the projected cap dropped to about $74 million. 

The upward movement of the cap should give some relief to cash strapped teams such as the Los Angeles Kings, which have $65.8 million allotted for 35 contracts. Los Angeles has stated a preference to re-sign forward Milan Lucic, who made $6 million last season. The Boston Bruins retained $2.75 million of Lucic’s contract.

The Chicago Blackhawks, a team that’s also struggled with cap issues, has about $66,034 million tied up into 35 contracts next season. The Blackhawks also have a reported $3.07 million of salary cap overages for next season.

The New York Rangers have $56.075 million locked into 29 contracts for next season. But they will have to re-sign restricted free agents Kevin Hayes ($3.75 million cap hit), Chris Kreider ($2.475 million cap hit) and J.T. Miller($874,000 cap hit). 

On the other end of the spectrum, the Arizona Coyotes have $34.44 million locked into 29 contracts as they try to reach the floor. They have seven restricted free agents, though they’re reportedly closing in on signing pending unrestricted free agent Alex Goligoski and will likely bring back 39-year-old captain Shane Doan, another UFA. 

The New Jersey Devils have $43.583 million locked into 30 contracts. Their only RFA of note is Kyle Palmieri who scored 30 goals last season.

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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!

 

 

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