The NHL salary cap for next season is expected to rise by $3.5 million to be at $83 million, according to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. It could move slightly but the league has been good with salary cap projections, says Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.
The NHL is projecting a salary cap of roughly $83-million for next season, per Gary Bettman.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) December 3, 2018
The salary cap moved up from $75 million last season to $79.5 million this season.
This should make for a very interesting free agency as star players such as San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson, Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, Blue Jackets forward Artemi Panarin, Buffalo Sabres forward Jeff Skinner, Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone, Senators center Matt Duchene, Sharks center Joe Pavelski, and New York Islanders forward Anders Lee highlight one of the best free agent classes in NHL history on July 1.
In addition, there are also many notable restricted free agents who can become restricted free agents that day such as Mikko Rantanen of the Colorado Avalanche, the NHL’s scoring leader (45 points), Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point, Toronto Maple Leafs forwards Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews, Winnipeg Jets forward Patrik Laine, Carolina Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho, Sharks forward Timo Meier, Vegas Golden Knights center William Karlsson, and Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jake Guentzel.
While other teams will have their hands full signing their star players who will be up for contracts on July 1, the Washington Capitals have a much lighter to-do list this summer with $14.58 to spend in cap space as of now. Bottom-six forwards Brett Connolly and Devante Smith-Pelly, center Nic Dowd, defenseman Brooks Orpik, and goaltender Pheonix Copley can become unrestricted free agents this upcoming summer. Forwards Chandler Stephenson, Jakub Vrana, Andre Burakovsky, and Dmitrij Jaskin in addition to defenseman Christian Djoos can become restricted free agents July 1.
With lots of notable players up for contract by the end of the year, teams could not be happier with the expected increase for 2019-20.
By Harrison Brown