The NHL’s salary cap ceiling is reportedly set to rise from $75 million to somewhere between $78 and $82 million for the 2018-19 season. With Connor McDavid’s record-setting $12.5 million annual extension set to kick in next season, the Oilers needed this news.
Bill Daly says latest projection for next season’s salary cap is between $78 and $82 million.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) May 28, 2018
At minimum, if this report is correct, the cap will go up by a modest $3 million next season. But if it reaches the $82 million figure at the top end of what’s being suggested, that $7 million increase would represent the biggest jump seen since the massive $6.3 million hike the ceiling took between 2006-07 and 2007-08.
I imagine the ceiling will end up at $80 million, which was suggested back in December.
Like I said, this would be huge for the Oilers. I mean, unless you’re a team like the Coyotes or Hurricanes struggling to reach the salary cap floor this is a good thing, but it’s especially important for the Oilers for the salary cap to rise given Connor McDavid’s massive $12.5 million extension kicking in. When the Oilers inked McDavid and Leon Draisaitl to a combined $21 million cap hit last summer it was expected the deals would start to look like bargains as the cap went up over time.
For the sake of comparison, when Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin started making a combined $18.2 million in 2014-15, the cap was at $69 million, meaning they cost the Penguins 26.4 per cent of the salary cap. Draisaitl and McDavid next year will cost the Oilers $21 million, which is 26.3 per cent of the $80 million figure right in the middle of the suggested range.
As of right now, the Oilers have about $65 million committed to nine forwards, four defencemen, and three goalies. Assuming they dump or bury Al Montoya and Kailer Yamamoto makes the team, it’s about $65 million for 10 forwards, four defencemen, and two goalies. The Oilers also have Darnell Nurse, Matt Benning, Ryan Strome, and Drake Caggiula in need of new RFA deals.
Assuming the cap ends up at $80 million, Edmonton will have about $15 million to sign those RFAs and make some minor tweaks to their roster.