2022-23 salary cap set to increase to $82.5 million
The end of the flat cap era could be in sight. After three seasons at an $81.5 salary cap due to the coronavirus pandemic, a long-awaited raise may be coming — and just in time for a number of teams. TSN’s Chris Johnston reports that the NHL continues to project an increase of $1 million from the current cap and that teams will be advised of the projected $82.5 million mark for the 2022-23 season at future meetings. GM.
The 2021-22 season has not been smooth sailing including a large number of games postponed due to COVID in December into January. However, with the NHL also withdrawing from the 2022 Winter Olympics, the league was able to reschedule many of these missed games during the scheduled Olympic break in February, with other dates being added and swapped throughout the season. Johnston reports that these changes have not had a significant impact on the league’s revenue stream. Although attendance limits in Canada cost overall revenue, it was not enough to dislodge the league’s planned cap increase. In fact, Johnston says the 2021-22 returns so far look “strong.”
This will be a welcome relief for a number of teams. Although the cap has been stagnant for several years, it hasn’t necessarily deflated player salaries, which has put a number of teams in difficult situations this year and as they plan for 2022-23 and beyond. of the. This is especially true for defenders’ long-term contracts, many of which will start next season. While $1 million doesn’t seem like a significant increase, more than half the league is currently using the long-term injured reserve or is less than $1 million under the cap and that has been true for most of it. of the season. Many of those same teams also have an uncomfortable amount of salary expenses already incurred for the 2022-23 season and will greatly appreciate some additional flexibility.
With business running smoothly and the upper limit trending higher, there could also be a change in the NHL salary cap. The league has an impressive competitive balance and a lot of that comes from a hard salary floor on top of the cap, and a narrow margin at that. Johnston doesn’t mention any impending announcements on the cap floor yet, but if the NHL feels revenue is healthy enough to raise the cap, it will likely do the same with the floor.