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.