NHL salary cap expected to go up to $73 million in 2015-16
The big-money Philadelphia Flyers will be happy to hear the NHL salary cap is projected to go up next season. (Eric Bolte/USA TODAY Sports)
While the Canadian dollar has gone down, the NHL’s salary cap still appears to be going up.
During his audience with members of all 30 teams at the league’s annual December board of governors meetings, commissioner Gary Bettman revealed that the initial projection for the 2015-16 salary cap is about $73 million US, with a floor in the neighbourhood of $54 million.
That cap would be a $4 million increase from the $69 million figure of this season. The 2014-15 floor is $51 million.
Bettman cautioned that the wavering Canuck buck will be a factor as to whether the projections change in the coming months.
“Estimates are not carved in stone, but our best guess based on the information available making lots of lots of assumptions on things like revenue growth in the year and perhaps, as significantly, what may happen with the Canadian dollar,” Bettman said. “Our best guess — and it’s got some variation in it — is that if the Canadian dollar stays where it is now for the rest of the season, which is about 88 cents, the cap for next season would be approximately $73 million.
“It’s just a guess and it is subject to variation.”
Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said Bettman’s announcement did not catch anyone by surprise.
“At this point, it is all projections,” he said. “You prepare, and you continue to prepare, for a variety of assumptions. You make plans and you have contingency plans.
“I don’t think anything that was said in there really shocked any of the 30 clubs.”
Columbus Blue Jackets president John Davidson said teams can now blueprint their options moving forward.
“Here we are in (December) and we have the Canadian dollar fluctuating so much, you sort of look at it, digest it, talk about it when you get home with your people, your general manager, your cap people,” Davidson said. “It’s nothing out of the ordinary.”
While Quebecor head Pierre Dorion was at the board of governors meeting, Bettman said his presence was to discuss the league’s TV arrangement with TVA and had nothing to do with the corporation’s desire to bring to Quebec City the reincarnation of the Nordiques.
“Pierre Dorion and the board did not discuss at all the new building or the team,” Bettman said. “There is no measure here. We haven’t ranked teams. We haven’t ranked markets. There is no process.”
Along with Las Vegas and Quebec City, Seattle and a second Toronto-area team also have been mentioned as possible expansion landing spots. But the latter two cities have no new buildings in which to house teams, a factor that continues to plague a Seattle market that the league is very intrigued with.
The NHL last expanded from 28 to 30 teams in 2000 by adding the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild. Bettman said there are no set plans to expand at this time.
We’ll see if his tune changes in a couple of months, especially if Vegas gains momentum in its experimental season-ticket drive.
COYOTES’ SALE ‘STILL TRACKING’
Bettman on the proposed sale of a majority stake in the Arizona Coyotes franchise to Andrew Barroway: “It is still tracking. We got documents at the end of last week. There is a process we need to go through in terms of our franchise ownership transfer procedure and that process is ongoing and on track, but it isn’t done. That is the only reason there wasn’t a vote. We weren’t ready our standpoint in terms of the process that we need to go through.” The sale, which is contingent on approval by the board of governors, would be a 51% share of the Coyotes ... Kevin Gilmore, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Montreal Canadiens, said the ceremony honouring the late Jean Beliveau prior to Tuesday’s Habs-Canucks game will be “simple.” Count on it being classy, too.