NHL salary cap could increase $2.5 million or $3 million next season

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BUFFALO, NY – JUNE 25: General manager Ray Shero of the <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nhl/teams/njd/" data-ylk="slk:New Jersey Devils">New Jersey Devils</a> attends the 2016 NHL Draft at First Niagara Center on June 25, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY – JUNE 25: General manager Ray Shero of the New Jersey Devils attends the 2016 NHL Draft at First Niagara Center on June 25, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

BOCA RATON, Fla. – The NHL’s salary cap could go up by $2.5 million or $3 million next season, based on current league revenues.

That was the estimate deputy commissioner Bill Daly gave reporters after the league’s general managers meetings wrapped up Wednesday. Daly did note, however, that this number takes into account if the NHL Players’ Association exercises its five percent escalator clause, which is not a definite.

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“It’s all a discussion and a negotiation with the players’ association,” Daly said. “It has been a negotiated number every year since we’ve had a cap. I mean we’ll have that negotiation and discussion again.”

At the NHL’s Board of Governors meetings in December, commissioner Gary Bettman said the cap could go up “a couple or so million.”

Currently, the cap is at $73 million, and there have been some rumors of a flat cap if the NHLPA doesn’t exercise the five percent escalator. The escalator generally increases the amount of escrow for players – a part of the current CBA many seem to dislike.

League general managers said they have prepared for several different possibilities moving forward in regards to the salary cap.

“I’ve been on both sides where you’re a cap team where you’re praying it goes up and now I’m on the other side where from just speaking for our club, if it’s a flat cap then it’s a better opportunity for a team like ours that has a lot of cap space,” New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero said. “I think on both sides, if you’re a cap team you’re operating on a lot of different scenarios because you don’t know. You have three-to-four different scenarios and you’re going to have to adjust because you’re not going to know the final cap number until June sometime.”

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Said Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, “Before the decisions really start in June you get a better idea, and as the numbers start rolling out you’ll get a better idea, but I think again there is the possibility that it could stay flat.”

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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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