Photo: Geoff Burke/USA Today
The salary cap for the 2019-20 NHL season has been set at $81.5 million. The Washington Capitals currently have $9,235,706 remaining in cap space with 17 players under contract for the season. The salary floor is $60.2 million.
It’s official now. $81.5M salary cap. Salary floor is $60.2M
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 22, 2019
The factors for the decrease from the projections (it was expected to be around $82.5-83 million for the last few months) 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.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said on Tuesday that the expected salary cap for the 2020-21 season is around $83.5-84.5 million.
The drop in the cap ceiling makes 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.
This is a disappointment for General Manager Brian MacLellan, who traded defenseman Matt Niskanen to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for defenseman Radko Gudas this past Friday in an effort to clear cap space, as he tries to retool the team after a first-round exit in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
By Harrison Brown