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Besides the plethora of big-name free agents, the projected rise of the NHL’s salary cap was and is perhaps the most-talked about topic when it comes to the financial aspect of the league’s offseason. For months, many have debated as to the exact amount at which the cap ceiling (which stood at $75 million this past season) would be in 2018-19, and fans (and General Managers) may have their answer in the next few days.
Per TSN’s Frank Seravelli, the salary cap ceiling (the maximum amount in total salaries a team is allowed to spend) is likely going to be either $79 or $80 million, quite a difference from the $82 million many believed would be the final amount. The projected range was anywhere from $78-$82 million, so should Seravelli’s report be accurate, the increase falls in the bottom of the previous projections.
Still some deliberating but sounds like 2018-19 #NHL salary cap has been narrowed down to between $79-80 million. Initial projection is that player escrow withholding starts under 10% for first time since 2011-12.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) June 19, 2018
For the Capitals, this latest development means that re-signing pending unrestricted free agent defenseman John Carlson will prove tricky. Expected to seek a long-term contract that could contain an annual salary of $8 million, the Capitals also have players such as Tom Wilson, Jay Beagle, and Michal Kempny in need of new contracts, and General Manager Brian MacLellan may not be able to fit all in, despite the projected total. While the projected $79-$80 million may not seem like a very big increase from the previous ceiling, it will be the largest single season cap jump since the 2013-14 season. While the preliminary and obvious impact this will have on the Capitals is no doubt a challenge, how the Caps and other teams adjust (if at all) their offseason business will be interesting to watch.
By Michael Fleetwood