For everyone projecting a substantial salary cap increase for next season, commissioner Gary Bettman has a message for you: “we’ll see.” That’s what the executive told gathered media including Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff today at the board of governors meeting, explaining that the league is currently projecting a $70MM escrow balance at the end of the season. If that isn’t paid off in full by the players (through increased hockey-related revenue) the salary cap will be increased by just $1MM.
There has been some rumbling about a potential compromise with the NHLPA to increase it by a little over the next few seasons, instead of waiting for it to spike once the escrow balance is paid, but Bettman wouldn’t comment on that possibility.
That means the most likely outcome at this point is an $83.5MM cap ceiling for 2023-24. A much larger increase would follow in 2024-25 as that $70MM of debt would surely be paid off. Teams handing out long-term extensions or preparing for free agent negotiations will have to pinch a few extra pennies for a little while longer.
The interesting outcome that this could create is a number of free agents agreeing to one-year deals next offseason, knowing for certain that the cap would raise the following year. Restricted free agents may agree to more qualifying offers or go through the arbitration process instead of locking into multi-year bridge deals, and veterans could look to play out a single season before cashing in again when teams have some extra money to spend.
Either way, it appears as though true respite for the cap-strapped teams may still be a little way down the road.
Translation: Empty your pockets fans! Go buy that 10 game pack of $300 tickets (each), buy the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th jersey of your favorite player, and watch him be traded in 2 years, after shelling out $250, subscribe to Disney, ESPN+, TNT, Nickelodeon and MTV to get all the games. Uncle Gary says so, or else your team can’t get that 2nd line winger to get over the playoff hump! Enjoy your watered down NHL!
In what way is it watered down? Do you think there are players who would be in the NHL if the cap was higher, but are not in the league with the lower cap? I’m not advocating for a higher cap or a lower one. I just don’t see how it changes the product on the ice.
My team has more than enough cap space to keep their young core together so GMKA (Sabres) doesn’t need that money for at least 2 years from now anyways.
Outstanding tantrum but this just in: you are not forced to buy tickets, jerseys, a subscription to any network, or even follow the NHL. Oh, and the game is not watered down. Faster, stronger, more skilled players playing the game at a higher level than has ever been played in the NHL.
Why thank you, mutthockey, I’m happy you enjoy my words. I never said anyone was forced to buy anything. Please try to pay attention to what I actually write. It’ll make you look less stupid the next time you comment.
And yes, the game is watered down. There’s too many teams and hitting has been almost removed. Breathing hard on another player gets a 5 game suspension. May as well have the girls teams play
Hitting is almost non-existent, as is fighting. Sometimes I think I’m watching girls’ teams
If by watered down you mean there is less hitting and fighting than there was 20 years ago you are correct. I’m not sure what that has to with with the salary cap, but whatever. As to watching girls’ teams, they’re really good these days too. The girls are really skilled and really fast. The gap between the women’s game and the men’s game continues to shrink, and not because the men are getting worse.
Well, I think you and the rest of my critics missed the sarcasm of my original post. It was meant to be from Bettman’s point of view. When I wrote “translation” it was meant to indicate that it was a translation of Bettman’s words. Sorry, I guess I overestimated peoples’ intellects here. I thought everyone would get subtle humor. I stand corrected.
Subtle is not a word I would use to describe anything I’ve read of yours.
Matty m’boy, I didn’t have to reel you fish in. Y’all jumped in my boat. You boys were so intent on being offended, that you totally missed the point.Seems like it happens a lot these days.
Not my fault.
Who’s offended? I asked in what way you thought the NHL was watered down because without context it wasn’t really clear. Once you explained that it’s the hitting and fighting that you miss I understand. Then you went on to compare today’s NHL to watching a girl’s game. I encouraged you to watch more women’s hockey because it’s a good product. What led you to believe I was offended?
The Preds/Blues paint drying exhibition last night is evidence of this. Yes, the game is faster (they took out the redline, so of course it’s faster), but far too many games are borefests for much of the contest. One long missed stretch pass after another is not good hockey.
Over expansion has led to far too many teams not even having two lines that can score consistently (e.g. the Preds). Yet the price to watch this has priced most people out of attending a game. Add in the woke virtue signaling by the league and that cap isn’t going up substantially anytime soon.
Now Gbear, you and I both know it’s not expansions fault the Preds don’t have any scoring wingers.
@mattc68 Gbear said the Preds don’t have two scoring lines, not that they don’t have scoring wingers. Ever heard of a guy named Filip Forsberg?
What is with peoples’ reading comprehension here? Can anyone read above a 6 grade level?
Ok. I will admit to some hyperbole. But the fact remains there are far more dynamic offensive players in the league now than there have ever been. Compare the skill and shot of a 4th line winger or third pairing defenceman today to 10 years ago and there is no comparison. Any lack of scorers the Preds have is GMDP’s fault as Gbear has told us all on multiple occasions.
With as much bitterness as you have about the NHL, it is rather amusing that you are here tossing tantrums over it rather. Normal, sane people quit using a product when they no longer enjoy it. You seem to revel in your misery over it. You also don’t seem to understand the economics of sports. If there was not a demand for the current number of teams, there would be fewer teams. Also, NHL attendance continues to be solid – if the product was as bad as you claim, people would be leaving. This stuff is taught on day one of any basic economics class. But rant on – you are fun to watch.
Can you please supply some links that validate that NHL attendence numbers are “solid”? Sure, they’re better than they were during the lockdowns, but are they solid compared to years prior to that?
@Mattc68 – As pertaining to the Preds, it could be a 6 team league and Poile still wouldn’t have two scoring lines. :/
But to give you an idea of how much expansion has drained the talent pool, the Penguins had 4th liners back in the early 90’s like Bob Errey, Troy Loney and Phil Bourque who scored 20 goals. There are now more than a few teams in the league now who can’t put together two decent scoring lines. That’s not good for the game.
Minneapolis Dollar Pocket
I thought that NHL owners had been on food stamps for years. Must be profits from selling the retro jerseys.
Many of your thoughts about hockey tend to be wrong. Your misguided rants about Mason Shaw a while back ring a bell.
To any team needing cap space. GMKA might be willing to take on $2 million salary for a non protected 1st (for 1 year) so a $6 million player will cost you 3 1sts. ;) ;)