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NHL Commissioner says salary cap likely to rise by only $1 million for 2023-24 season

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Photo credit:Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
10 months ago
It looks like the NHL’s salary cap ceiling will only see a small jump heading into next season.
According to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said that the most likely increase will remain at $1 million for this summer.
The salary cap has largely stood pat over the past few years because of the expected revenues that were lost during the seasons that were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The league lost the final quarter of its season in 2019-20, the playoffs were played inside of a bubble without any fans that summer, and the 2020-21 season was shrunk to 56 games with many teams playing in half-empty buildings.
Once the players pay back their debts to the owners from the pandemic, the salary cap will see a significant rise. It was set at $81.5 million for the 2019-20 season and remained stagnant for the following two seasons after that. In 2022-23, the cap jumped up by $1 million to $82.5 million and it’ll likely be set at $83.5 million for the 2023-24 season.
Bettman said back in March that the league was doing very well financially and that generating an additional $100 million in hockey-related revenue beyond the season’s current projections would result in a jump larger than $1 million for 2023-24. That didn’t happen this year, so the NHL won’t see a significant cap increase until 2024-25.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have a handful of unrestricted free agents in need of new contracts this summer, including Ryan O’Reilly, Michael Bunting, and Luke Schenn among others, but the most important thing will be how much the salary cap goes up in the coming years. Auston Matthews and William Nylander have one more year left on each of their contracts and are eligible to sign extensions this summer that’ll begin for the 2024-25 season.
The NHL’s estimate for the 2024-25 salary cap ceiling is $87.5 million and then $92 million for 2025-26.

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