After all the speculation, it looks as though the NHL salary cap will in fact be on the rise for the 2016-17 season, according to a statement released by the league and the NHLPA.
According to the release, the cap for the upcoming season will rise to US$73 million. That’s an increase of $1.6 million over last season’s cap ceiling of $71.4 million. The increase can be attributed to the NHLPA’s vote to use their five percent escalator clause.
Had the PA not used the clause, the cap could’ve realistically dropped nearly $2 million from last season – according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.
The 5% growth factor made the cap jump $3.57M. In real dollars, it went up by $1.6M — so it would have dropped ~$2M without growth factor.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 22, 2016
The NHL’s salary cap has seen a consistent increase over the past four seasons. Since 2013-14, the league has seen the cap ceiling climb by just under $9 million – with the biggest increase coming between 2013-14 and 2014-15 when it jumped nearly $5 million.
NHL Salary Cap by Season:
2013-14 $64.3 M
2014-15 $69.0 M
2015-16 $71.4 M
2016-17 $73.0 M
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) June 22, 2016
The increase will set the cap floor at US$54 million for next season. That would set the max contract for a player signed this season at $14.6 million per season (20 percent of the team’s cap).
The value of the Canadian dollar certainly played a roll in how the league’s revenues tailed off this season. While the increase could’ve been larger, teams will be happy to see a little more wiggle room when they crunch their numbers first thing Wednesday morning.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.