Report: Cap to remain flat next season

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the NHL’s salary cap will be remaining flat next year.

In Wednesday’s 30 thoughts article, the news was lost in the fray of a busy All-Star weekend. Following his formal media conference, Gary Bettman discussed the salary cap saying that while nothing is official, it appears that the league is heading to a flat cap for next season. 

The league has seen a steady increase in its salary cap totals since it was introduced in 2005-2006 at $39 million. If the cap remains flat as reported, this will be the first time the cap has not increased year-over-year.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Currently, the NHL’s salary cap provides a lower limit of $54 million, with an upper limit of $73 million. 

Citing concerns over escrow, it was clear that these conversations have been a battle behind the scenes. 

The players have a clear desire to lower escrow ratings. Currently, the NHL sits at 15.5 percent escrow, well above the NBA’s 10 percent escrow. 

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Lawyer Richard Rodier, who worked with the NHLPA between 2011 and 2015 is on one side of the dispute while Donald Fehr, who leads the NHLPA, is on the other. 

According to Friedman, Rodier sent out an email to agents, players and divisional representatives stating that he had information on revenue claims that “could decrease escrow deduction by 25-35 percent.” Rodier also says there are HRR claims that could have the ability to raise roughly $400 million to be shared among NHL players.

While Fehr and Rodier continued to battle back and forth over mass emails, Friedman noted that it’s possible for impartial mediation to occur to get things settled. 

The latest from Laing:

    • Exploiting the salary cap crunch is one area where Benning has really missed the boat. I would have been really happy if we did the Teravainen/Bickell trade (and this isn’t in retrospect, I was pushing for a cap-exploit trade before). We’d still have Teravainen (for a 2nd and 3rd) and Bickell’s contract would have expired, so we could do it again.

    • Steamer

      Cap to remain flat??? O, for the time when hockey-talk was about hockey and not $$$$ – caps, UFA’s, RFA’s, etc. Before Bettman NBA’d the NHL, turning our national game into PRODUCT. Hard to imagine what kind of clown could make John Ziegler & Clarence Campbell look good, but Bettman has done it. The worst thing to happen to hockey, ever.

        • Steamer

          Actual parity would be a good thing – but ‘parity’ as a result of a monkeyed interpretation of wins vs. losses leads us to where teams are credited with winning games where in fact they haven’t won a game, but only a skills competition. Difficult to get a read on a team due to the skewered, padded points. As for 3 on 3 – on the pond, ok – but just until
          other players show up. Tiger Williams on ‘today’s NHL’ – “If you call this hockey, you’ve got your head up your ass.”

        • Randaman

          Parity in the cap system is better but still jaded. There are still the haves and have nots to an extent.

          The thing that a non cap system would do is clear out the non hockey market teams. That is what the cap was brought in for. I say this now because we have a rich owner. Easy for me.

      • Not a First Tier Fan

        Bettman saved the NHL as a league with his insistence on a salary cap over the wishes of the players union.

        Say what you will about him – he’s a giant herpes blossom on the face of the NHL for sure, and he’ll seemingly go out of his way to shaft Canadian teams whatever chance he gets…

        But if he hadn’t dug his heels in and said we can’t have a league where a few teams keep attracting the talent by offering bigger and bigger salaries – to the detriment of the other teams in the league – I doubt we’d have any Canadian teams left today except maybe Toronto and Montreal.

        I’m not a big fan of the guy either but you should give credit where it’s due…

        • Steamer

          You – & others – may well be right. Perhaps the alternatives were worse?
          All I know is that over the past 20 years the quality of NHL games has steadily deteriorated ( not talking about individual skills ). This view based purely on watching the league since 1960. I do know I’m not alone, have heard many,many others – including former players, coaches, etc. say the same. Thankfully, the NHL is but one league & since this is Canada, any night of the week one can go to a local arena & see a non-corporate game. Beautiful thing about hockey: you see the same mistakes at every level:)

          • Not a First Tier Fan

            I don’t think you’re entirely wrong here. The Bettman (loser) Point and the Skills Competition will always be controversial. I’m not too far off from your point of view about them to tell you the truth.

            I just remember back to the few years before the last lockout… If you were a fan of a small-market team constantly facing the stupid salary offers to players from teams down south those were dark years. Players who shouldn’t have been getting paid a fraction of it were clamouring for salaries up to and over the ten mil range… and sometimes not even keeping their contacts when they got them. Winnipeg and Quebec City DID relocate and Calgary and Edmonton were facing uphill battles to keep their teams…

            As much as a nimrod as I think he is I’ll always defend Bettman bringing in the salary cap and putting an end to all that nonsense. He didn’t just battle the players union to do it but also the Owners that had the deep pockets to create the situation in the first place… He’s a dweeb but he’s a dweeb that’s got guts.

        • jupiter

          I have doubt that Bettman was the instigator of implementing the salary cap.I’d bet that the business savvy owners were pushing this agenda, as the value on all teams sky rocketed afterwards.

          • Not a First Tier Fan

            You mean the same business-savvy owners that were undercutting each other like crazy offering bigger and bigger contracts every summer?

            Sorry I don’t buy it… There sure didn’t seem to be a lot of common-sense in play on the part of the owners at the time.

    • jupiter

      ‘While Fehr and Rodier continued to battle back and forth over mass emails Freidman noted that its possible for partial mediation to occur to get things settled’.

      This is where Bettman fires the mediator and claims he had no right mediating.

    • Spoils

      say what you want about the specifics here, but you have to love the parity in the league.

      how many teams could make a run this year?

      Wash, Columbus, Pitt, Mont, NYR, Minn, Chi, Nash, SJ, Ana, LA, StL…

      not loving life after the Minny forecheck debacle, but… Oil?

    • Gravis82

      Ok, but what are the implications for the Edmonton Oilers?

      I could have read this anywhere.

      All posts on Oilers Nation, with occasional situational exceptions, should be filtered through an analysis of how this is related to the Edmonton Oilers by an identified author who has clearly taken the time to think that through.

      This article, is simply a copy/paste of facts from another source.

      I am not dissing the article really because it is interesting I guess, but as a reader I expect facts + relevant analysis + informed opinion on this site…not just facts.

        • Gravis82

          I don’t log in to get updates on the network, I log in to read Oilers Nation.

          Is the nation network a forum for distributing other news and press releases? Or is it a forum for meaningful content and analysis that is relevant to your ‘Nation’ of interest.

          If I want to get up to speed on news like this, I can get it from 100 other sources.

          The reason ON, and by extension, the Nation Network, is special in this day an age is that you don’t just re-post facts or press releases. You take the time to digest and present an angle for all articles, or even just offer an opinion. No one really does that anymore, because it’s hard and takes time. But its meaningful, which is why you have the readership you do.

          Posts like thus suggest a divergence in business direction towards easy ways to increase content and traffic without having to put too much thought into what’s posted (just like every other website these days it seems), as it’s just facts without substance. And I don’t particularly agree with that.

          • You obviously don’t read ON very often because we have press releases like this all the time. Good try, though. Just click Zach’s name in the Voices of the Nation drop down and see the collection. BTW you may want to avoid the Moroz for Samuelsson newser that came out right after this at ON.

          • I am Batman



            The same time it took you to post all this is time you could have used in deducting the implications for the Oilers. Which are not very many since there’s cap space and some contracts are coming off the books and McDavid ‘s millions of millions won’t kick in until 2018….

            This is a free country and Oilers Nation can post whatever they want even if it’s about kittens. It’s also your choice to read it .

        • Gravis82

          I am aware of this. And also, that’s my point. At this appears, and yet it’s not Oiler specific nor does it have any substance or analysis. If one took the time to think about how this may affect the Oilers, and it does, that is different. But this is definitely not that.

          It matters not how many times things like this have been posted in the past, or who posts it. That kind of content is not why I visit the network. This is the kind of vanilla post that sportsnet would run. Its not engaging in any way.

          Its great that we are a network and all, but I honestly don’t really care about other information when I log in here. I do care about that info in general, but there are much better places to get it. I log in here to specifically read about the Oilers, and consider the opinions/arguments that others, who are far smarter that I, have regarding our team. The more I see non-Oiler articles here, the less I will want to log in.

          Just sayin.

      • jakethesnail

        No need to get your shorts in a knot over a Nation wide story. There is plenty of time for each Nation’s bloggers to post team implication of next year cap.

    • Big Jacks Meat

      Bring Hitch home , head scout , he knows talent.
      No stress of coaching and getting canned and he
      has the hockey smarts as we know , too bad he was never available when we looked for 6 coaches, I’m and sure he would have loved to coach a decent OILERS Team.