Report: NHL Salary Cap Not Expected To Increase By More Than $1 Million

Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving told the media at the NHL’s GM Meetings in Florida on Wednesday morning that the salary cap will likely not rise by more than $1 million for next season and GMs are not planning to have additional space.

League commissioner Gary Bettman told the media that the NHL is open towards discussing a bigger raise with the players’ association but needs to see what incoming executive director Marty Walsh thinks.

This would mean that the salary cap will likely not be higher than $83.5 million for the 2023-24 campaign.

Assuming that it goes up exactly $1 million, the Washington Capitals would have $14,569,166 left in cap space to spend over the offseason with 12 forwards, four defensemen, and two goaltenders under contract. Left-wing Conor Sheary, defenseman Matt Irwin, right-wing Craig Smith, and right-wing Connor Brown can all become unrestricted free agents on July 1. Defensemen Martin Fehervary, Alexander Alexeyev, and Gabriel Carlsson (only one who is arbitration eligible) can become restricted free agents.

GM Brian MacLellan also said on the radio last week that the team will pursue a top-six forward “with skill” after this season.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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16 Responses to Report: NHL Salary Cap Not Expected To Increase By More Than $1 Million

  1. novafyre says:

    With all the RSN uncertainty, I’m surprised it’s going up by $1 million and wonder what the NHL: wants the players to give up for it go higher.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Yep, I wondered how that will affect things as well. I did see a report that the networks will continue to operate (not sure how) but the money going to the NHL has to be caught up in red tape at this point.

      • novafyre says:

        As I understand it (not a lawyer or financial guru) most Bally functions will continue through bankruptcy proceedings. They expect some company to come out of this — it is not shutting down. But this gives them all sorts of rights to cancel debt, cancel deals, restructure. I can’t believe that any of this means more money for the NHL. I would imagine it means less. Also Warner-Discovery is pulling out — affects Pits.

        If the MLB Tampa Bay Rays are no longer carried on Bally Sun, that pretty much leaves just the Lightning as a pro team. Will Spectrum continue to carry them next season? If not, and this goes streaming only, will this new independent Diamond company (Bally) survive on subscriptions? Will the NHL move all broadcasts to ESPN Plus?

        • GRin430 says:

          The problem for ESPN+ is that they depend on the RSNs for the productions… No RSNs, no productions, no feeds, nothing but cornhole or poker to watch on ESPN+…

          • Novafyre says:

            If MLB does their own broadcast they too will need the local talent.

            • GRin430 says:

              MLB has deeper pockets than the NHL and a larger fan base. While I’m certain that somebody will produce telecasts of most MLB games, even in the smaller markets, I’m not sure that’s going to be the case for all of the NHL franchises. The Caps will always have their games available (for a price) since Ted owns the RSN, but I’m not sure whether small market teams like CBJ or Winnipeg will have TV coverage in the future.

              In all this means revenues will not be going up much, if at all, for quite some time, and that means the cap will not go up either.

              • KimRB says:

                Winnipeg Jets games are currently covered regionally on TSN, which is owned by Bell Media and ESPN. Wikipedia says TSN is the largest specialty channel in Canada, in terms of gross revenue. Columbus might be in trouble, since they’re with bankrupt Bally, but I don’t see Winnipeg having difficulties, in the near future.

              • novafyre says:

                I imagine that the leagues might be able to rent local TV stations’ technical crews. Or do what the ECHL does and use their radio talent for audio and arena video streaming on FloHockey. Yes, I get the Kissing Cam, intermission contests, everything you would see on the screen in the arena. Along with the radio feed (thankfully synced with the video).

                Now, that covers streaming. But would any local station air it (Bears have a few games aired locally I believe) or local cable pick it up as part of their package? Or will fans be forced to go streaming?

                • KimRB says:

                  AHL does that too. You get a lot of little kids dancing, and mugging for the camera, and wildly entertaining shots of people eating nachos, and looking at their phones. Let the good times roll!

                  • novafyre says:

                    I roll my eyes at some of it, and groan at the all too frequent technical difficulties (Rays audio went out during one Estero game and I had to switch to the home audio), but I really enjoy seeing all the families, all the little kids, seniors, everyone who is able to afford seats to watch the game live. It’s refreshing to see all ages in the arenas having a good time.

      • Anonymous says:

        Plenty of companies stay running through bankruptcy proceedings, and hopefully for them, well beyond. That’s the whole idea behind bankruptcy, is to keep the business afloat, so creditors can get paid, at some time. If the business can’t stay going, the goal is to pay creditors as much as possible. There’s a mistaken impression among some people that bankruptcy is a scam to get out of paying debt. Not quite, though it can be misused.

        • Jon Sorensen says:

          Good points. Don’t you see that as a possible hinder acne/reduction in paying the NHL? I’m a noob when it comes to bankruptcy proceeding, but seems like it will reduce money flow somehow. But maybe they paid upfront? 🤷‍♂️

          • KimRB says:

            First of all, Jon, I have to say the Anonymous pistwas from me, so you know who you’re talking to. My browser was updated, and I had to refill my info. Second, I know a littkebit about financial matters, and something about bankruptcy, having worked for those who have declared, and been a creditor myself. But not an expert

            The point really for bankruptcy, is to bring in a third party, a judge, to make sure assets are distributed fairly. Basically, the NHL will have to get in line, and wait their turn, to get their money. A lot of wrangling will be going on, negotiations that will make hammering out an 8 year NHL contract seem like a walk in the park. The only people that really win in this situation are lawyers.

            I’m guessing NBC Sports, nee Comcast Sports, nee Home Team Sports , and the Capitals, won’t be too much affected by this, at least for the time being. The biggest effect for them would be that they use in house crews for away games. But if Bally keeps on chugging… should be no problem.

          • novafyre says:

            From The Tampa Bay Times: “In a news release, Diamond Sports Group indicated broadcasts of [Rays and Lightning] games won’t be affected for now. ‘We expect to execute a prompt and efficient reorganization and to emerge from the restructuring process as a stronger company.'”

            Others have indicated that MLB’s contracts are the ones plunging them into debt and this will allow them to either re-negotiate their MLB deals for a lower price or scrap them.

            Bally (Diamond) wants to remain viable and continue. I want to be rich. Doesn’t mean either is going to happen. If they go away, next year’s money goes away. If they renegotiate their NHL contracts, the NHL gets less money. That’s why I’m really not concerned about this year’s remaining Lightning games or NHL money NOW as much as NHL broadcasts and income next season. MLB appears ready to go its own way and ditch Diamond. If MLB goes, are there enough local pro sports to support Diamond?

            Rumor is that Pits may end up on NESN which is partly owned by Fenway Park which owns the Pits.

            I don’t know how much each local team gets or how much the NHL as whole gets from each RSN. Ted is feeding himself since Monumental now owns NBCSW. But I’m sure that it is a revenue stream for the league as a whole. And it’s that stream next year that to me would put any salary cap increase into jeopardy.

            But, unlike Kim, I have no experience with any chapter 11 or 7 bankruptcies, so this is just based on what I’m reading and guessing. And worrying about.

            • KimRB says:

              Shows that Leonsis was smart to buy NBC Sports Washington. That’s one for him. If he had only canned McPhee three years earlier, I’d feel better towards him.

              I’m basically in the same boat as you, Fyre, and everyone else here. I’m just guessing. All I can do is say what typically happens in a bankruptcy proceeding. But they can follow different paths. A lot depends on the judge. My guess would be the three big creditors, MLB, NBA and NHL will be saying gimme, gimme, gimme, I should be paid first! It’s up to the judge to sort that out.

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