As expected, the NHL will feature a salary cap ceiling of $82.5 million for the 2022-23 season, a $1 million increase from the current figure.
Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff reported back in August that the salary cap would see a $1 million bump, but the news was made official on Monday at the general manager meetings in Florida.
This will be the first bump that we’ve seen to the salary cap since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the ceiling remained stagnant at $81.5 million for the 2019-20, 2021, and 2021-22 seasons.
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.
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While the addition of the Seattle Kraken coupled with massive television teams in the United States, 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 still owe the owners roughly $1 billion to compensate for the COVID-related revenue shortfall.
According to Seravalli, the players are projected to pay off this debt to the owners by the end of the 2024-25 season, meaning the 2025-26 season could see a major spike in the salary cap. Coincidentally, the current Collective Bargaining Agreement that was signed back in 2020 ahead of the bubble playoffs will also end in September of 2026.
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The Oilers are heading into an offseason in which Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto, and Ryan McLeod are in need of new contracts as restricted free agents while Evander Kane, Brett Kulak, Derick Brassard, Kris Russell, Kyle Turris, Josh Archibald, and Mikko Koskinen will be eligible to hit the open market as unrestricted free agents.
Edmonton currently has roughly $73.6 million tied into their roster for the 2022-23 season, giving them about $9 million to work with.