Official word won’t come down until later this month, and early indications had the NHL’s salary cap outer marker coming in at around $77 million. News today (via Larry Brooks and the New York Post) may put a friggin in the riggin:
- The expectation, affirmed in conversations within the past three days by essentially everyone on the NHL players’ side of the aisle, is that the union will decline to trigger the escalator for next season, thus creating a flat salary cap right around the current $73 million for 2017-18.
This is a worrisome piece of news for the Edmonton Oilers, as the club loses some room to wheel this year. It also makes trading a bigger contract more difficult and probably increases the ask to take on one of those big contracts.
ESTIMATED ROSTER 2017-18
There are ways for Peter Chiarelli to get below the cap easily (sending Jesse Puljujarvi and his salary+bonus down gets him close) and there are many estimates here that may be incorrect (Leon could be high, club may not sign Russell). Andrej Sekera’s injury will give the team a lot of cover, and it’s a real break the injury occurred on this side of free agency. I have included bonus dollars and some of those numbers won’t be reached. This table does show (in my opinion) the impact of a salary cap that stays flat. Peter Chiarelli’s summer gets a lot more difficult if Mr. Brooks information turns into reality.