Photo credit:Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports
The NHL Board of Governors talk cap space, international hockey and more during their meetings this week
2 months ago
Toronto will get some more cap room in 2024-25.
Early December is a period of meetings for leagues. As you may know, the sports world has been dominated by Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings, as they’re in the midst of the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes. However, the National Hockey League also recently had it’s Board of Governors meeting that had some significant news.
Let’s dive in.
Salary cap increase:
At the end of the season, the Leafs will have a combined $29,637,366 off the books from expiring free agents such as William Nylander, Tyler Bertuzzi, and T.J. Brodie, among others. While some of that hopefully will be given to Nylander and others, the salary cap increase will give the Leafs an additional $4,200,000 to play around with.
There’ll be some holes to fill to replace Brodie and others if the Leafs can’t re-sign their free agents, but $30,000,000+ in cap space is what contending teams dream of.
Remember when National Hockey League players played in the Olympics? Remember how much fun we had during the World Cup of Hockey? Well, the NHL will host a small international event in February 2025 featuring Canada, United States, Sweden, and Finland.
You may be asking, what about established countries such as Czechia or Slovakia? Or rising young teams such as Germany and Switzerland? How about Russia…well that one actually makes sense. And to answer you with my own question, do you think the NHL actually cares?
In fairness, Elliotte Friedman does Tweet that the league is “hoping for a full World Cup in 2028”, but yikes. That’d be 12 years after the last World Cup of Hockey. Yikes.
NHL expansion could be brought up in the coming years:
Apparently the NHL isn’t satisfied with just 32 teams, as expansion was at least brought up at this year’s Board of Governors.
Of course it wasn’t the focal point according to this Eric Engels article from Sportsnet, but as the entry fee could be over $2,000,000,000, you can be sure it was brought up.
The article mentions buyers from cities such as Houston, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, and Quebec City, but that’s still a few seasons away. Relocation wasn’t brought up as the Arizona Coyotes still play in the college stadium, but it wasn’t ruled out either.
If the NHL were to expand to 34 teams, it’d be the first “big four” league to do so. The National Football League was the first to expand to 32 teams all the way back in 2002, with the NHL following suit in 2021. Major League Baseball still remains at 30 teams, but with the announcement of the Oakland Athletics moving to Las Vegas, the league could soon expand. Same goes for the NBA.
Personally, give me Quebec City and Houston, and move Arizona to Kansas City or Salt Lake City or something.
Either way, it’s an exciting time to be a hockey fan, as the cap will continue to climb and expansion could be coming over the next few seasons.
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