10 NHL Teams Most in Need of a Summer Free-Agency Spending Spree

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10 NHL Teams Most in Need of a Summer Free-Agency Spending Spree
Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images

The NHL's unrestricted free-agency period begins July 1 at noon ET.


NESN.com's Nicholas Goss recently interviewed league commissioner Gary Bettman, who offered an estimate for next season's cap ceiling. He acknowledged that the original projection of $71.1 million could be slightly lower due to the recent decline of the Canadian dollar. 


"With the Canadian dollar down, maybe it could be 69 or 70, in that range," said Bettman, adding that those numbers were "just rough estimates."


With those figures, next season's salary cap would increase from the current $64.3 million to $69-$70 million, providing teams with nearly an additional $6 million of cap space to work with this summer. The increase in the cap ceiling also means an increase in the minimum.


TSN.ca reported in December that it could reach $52 million.


This means that several teams currently below the anticipated cap minimum must spend up to become cap-compliant. The rise in the cap ceiling could benefit big-market teams hoping to bolster their rosters.


The 10 teams on this list have the cap space to address their significant roster issues via free agency—provided they're willing to make the necessary investments.


Cap space, roster needs and free-agent rumors factored into these rankings.


All payroll and salary cap figures via CapGeek.com.

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