It isn’t much, but it’s something.
According to Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff, the NHL’s salary cap ceiling is projected to rise to $82.5 million next off-season ahead of the 2022-23 season. That’s a bump of $1,000,000, the first the league has seen since the COVID-19 pandemic.
As per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the players and the owners split hockey-related revenue 50/50. The salary cap is determined well before the off-season based on projections of what the league’s expected revenue is going to be.
Due to the 2019-20 season getting cut short, the 2020 playoff being played in a bubble without any fans, and the majority of the shortened 2021 season being played either without fans or at partial capacity, the players reportedly owe the owners roughly $1 billion to compensate for revenue shortfall.
The league will see a boost in revenue due to the addition of the Seattle Kraken along with a new television deal made with ESPN, but there’s still concern over how many buildings will be operating at full capacity for the 2021-22 season. Seravalli projects that the players could have their debt to the owners paid off ahead of the 2025-26 season, and that the salary cap could see a significant jump after that.