Relief At Last? NHL Salary Cap Could Soar Next Summer
The “flat cap era” of the NHL has been a drag. With money so tight, the off-season has been a boring and cringe-inducing affair in which one attends the draft and then does absolutely nothing to improve their team. The Flyers have been victimized by these flat cap years, but so have numerous other teams.
Most teams have fallen prey to the predacious flat cap that’s been haunting the NHL. But according to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, relief could be coming sooner rather than later.
For two seasons, fans were not permitted to actually attend the NHL’s games. As a consequence of measures intended to combat the COVID-19 virus, the stadiums were empty.
With empty stadiums came a massive drain on revenue. Hockey was being played, but hockey wasn’t making money at nearly the rate that it used to.
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Playing through this era of empty stadiums and flatlined revenue created a debt of $1.1 Billion. The debt would be paid with the profits that came as part of the subsequent seasons.
And until that debt is paid, the extra revenue the NHL brings in can’t be used to raise the salary cap ceiling as it had in the past. It was projected to take two to three years before the debt was fully paid.
In a statement at the annual fall Board of Governors meeting, Gary Bettman said, “We believe there’s a good possibility that the escrow will be paid off this season. May not be, but it’s going to be close, we think. Which means the flat cap will be replaced by a bigger increase–if not [next] season, then the [following] one.”
When that debt is paid, the salary cap could increase by as much as $5M. And an increase like that could make the NHL offseason bearable past the Draft date.