With Friday's NHL draft looming, the league and the NHLPA settled on a salary cap for the 2014-15 season. For a league that has had more than its fair share of lockouts in recent memory, any agreement between the NHL and its players is always seen as a positive.
David Pollack of the San Jose Mercury News has the details:
NHL/NHLPA announce agreement on 2014-15 cap range: $69M maximum, $51M minimum.— David Pollak (@PollakOnSharks) June 27, 2014
To put that in perspective, Tom Gulitti of The Record provides last year's cap details:
Cap in 2013-14 was $64.3 million. Cap for 2014-15: $69 million.— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) June 27, 2014
In the end, both sides were able to meet in the middle, as James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail tweeted:
Debate was between $68 and $70 million and they split the difference. NHL wanted higher number to bail out some teams.— James Mirtle (@mirtle) June 27, 2014
Earlier in the week, the Associated Press (h/t Fox News) reported that commissioner Gary Bettman spoke of his desire to have the cap issue solved as quickly as possible:
We hope to have a mutual understanding as to what the cap will be within the next day, hopefully at the latest. It's something that obviously we do in conjunction with the players' association.
There have been ongoing meetings, but our goal would be to move this as quickly as possible. But we have a dance partner and we want to make sure the music is playing appropriately and we're both hearing the same things.
Apparently, the two sides agreed on a tune.
According to the Associated Press' report, record revenues played a key role in seeing the cap rise.
After one of the most exciting and memorable postseasons in quite some time, culminating in the Los Angeles Kings winning their second Stanley Cup title in the past three years, one would imagine that momentum would continue into next season.
Along with the excellent postseason, 2014 also featured the Sochi Olympics—another memorable hockey tournament that featured a large number of NHL players.
And with the Winter Classic and Stadium Series as popular as ever and attracting new fans to the game, optimism for growth of the game is justifiably pretty high.
Along with the new salary cap, Dan Rosen of NHL.com suggests more changes could be coming to the NHL, as the league mulls over tweaking the draft lottery, changing the overtime format and altering the review process.
In other words, with the cap decided and the draft forthcoming, the next few weeks could see plenty of changes in the NHL.