Chris Johnston of NorthStar Bets is reporting that the NHL and NHLPA will not be negotiating a higher increase to the 2023-24 NHL salary cap meaning that it appears the cap will be set at $83.5MM. The $1MM increase will be a disappointment to a lot of teams that are pressed up against the cap, while teams with ample room under it will have an opportunity to weaponize their space and acquire assets for bad contracts.
Two weeks ago, Joe Smith of The Athletic laid out the case for a larger cap increase this offseason but it appears the NHL and the players association have opted for one more season with a modest increase. The players are expected to pay off the debt they incurred from the 2020-21 and with that there are a lot of people in the hockey community who believe that the cap could increase by more than $4MM for the 2024-25 season, which would be an absolute boon for players hitting free agency 12 months from now.
In other evening news:
- Craig Morgan of PHNX Sports tweeted today that there is no truth to the rumors that the Arizona Coyotes have interest in New York Islanders forward Josh Bailey. While a cap dump to Arizona does make sense for the Islanders given Bailey’s recent play, they might have to cough up significant assets in order to facilitate a trade to move on from Bailey. The once productive forward struggled last season posting just eight goals and 17 assists in 64 games and has become a regular on most pundits lists of players who will be bought out. Bailey’s contract was frontloaded so while his cap hit will be $5MM next season, his actual salary owed is just $3.5MM.
- The KHL’s Admiral Vladivostok announced today that they have signed Canadian forward Tyler Graovac to a one-year contract. The Brampton native was drafted in the seventh round of the 2011 NHL entry draft by the Minnesota Wild and spent four seasons in their system split between the AHL and NHL putting up 12 goals and three assists in 84 NHL games. He will be entering his third season in the KHL after spending last year with Podolsk Vityaz where he put up nine goals and 11 assists in 49 games.