The NHL salary cap projections have been dropping as of late. NHL General Managers are fearing that the cap ceiling will be around $81.5-82 million, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. The projected cap ceiling was around $82.5-83 million initially.
A theory on the Trouba trade, the cap, and where we are going: https://t.co/svQsXq5idR
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 18, 2019
The factors for the decrease in the projections include the fact that fewer and fewer players are willing to take a “hometown discount” to sign with their last team, want escrow to be eased when the time comes to negotiate a new CBA agreement in 2020, and the fact that NBC’s contract with the NHL expires after the upcoming season.
Friedman also said that the expected salary cap for the 2020-21 season is around $83.5-84.5 million.
If the salary cap were to drop to around $82 million, it would make things a lot harder to sign unrestricted free agents for the Washington Capitals, who already have to sign forward Jakub Vrana this offseason. Vrana can become a restricted free agent on July 1 and is expected to have a cap hit of around $4 million. Forward Brett Connolly, a 20-goal scorer from last season, can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
The other unrestricted free agents for the Capitals include forward Devante Smith-Pelly and defenseman Brooks Orpik. Center Nicklas Backstrom and goaltender Braden Holtby, who can each become unrestricted free agents after the 2019-20 season, can sign contract extensions as soon as July 1.
In addition to Vrana, forwards Andre Burakovsky, Dmitrij Jaskin, Chandler Stephenson, and defenseman Christian Djoos can all become restricted free agents on July 1.
If the report is true, General Manager Brian MacLellan’s life just got a lot harder.
By Harrison Brown