After months of speculation about the cap’s inevitable rise, and how drastic it would be, with many suggesting (and many GMs hoping) that it would break the $70 million threshold, it did not.
Instead, the NHL has set their cap for the 2014-15 season at a snicker-inducing $69 million.
The cap floor, then, is $51 million, with the mean (to which all payrolls will inevitably regress, suggests the stats community) at $60 million.
But for our purposes, and those that appreciate humor most puerile, the big number to focus on here is 69, a slightly lower cap that many teams were expecting. It’s still an increase on last year’s cap, meaning several teams have more money to spend and more flexibility, but it could hamstring a few teams that learned, at the precise moment next year’s salary cap was announced, that they were over it.
According to Capgeek, The Chicago Blackhawks will have to shed just under half a million to comply. And unsurprisingly, the Philadelphia Flyers, hockey’s rich kid who never seemed to learn the value of a dollar, have always arrived at this party overextended. They’ll have to shed just over $200k to comply. That’s doable, especially since they’re looking to shed Vincent Lecavalier. (Mind you, they’ll probably be five million over the cap by the end of the day, and then they’ll probably still sign Matt Niskanen and Ryan Miller somehow.)
The Boston Bruins, Los Angeles Kings, and Tampa Bay Lightning, who took on Jason Garrison’s $4.6 million cap hit about an hour before finding out the ceiling would be under $70 million, round out the top five in NHL payroll.