As expected, the NHL salary cap will rise next season, according to one of the head honchos himself: NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. In a speech over the weekend, Daly said that the cap could go up as high as $63.5 million, and that it'll rise at least $1.1 million to $60.5 million per year.
The cap is based on hockey related revenue and Daly told the group, which included a number of salivating agents, that the NHL is expecting to post record revenue of close to $3 billion for the 2010-11 season. That's an increase of more than $200 million from the previous season.
Since the CBA was reached after the 2004-05 lockout, league-wide revenues have increased by $750-800 million and the cap has increased by more than $20 million a team.
The league is obviously growing and is more successful now than it's been at any stage since the lockout. Revenues are up, and the TV deal just signed between the league and NBC can't be overlooked either. It's all money in the bank,a and when the league makes money, the players make money and get a bigger cut of the pie. That's exactly what's happening here.
At the same time, though, the larger the salary cap, the less parity we can expect to have between the big-market money spenders and the struggling franchises only spending to the cap floor. Teams like the Phoenix Coyotes and the New York Islanders are having a rough go of things financially, and when the cap rises, so does the floor. That's more money these struggling teams are forced to spend on players.
Then again, if you're a fan in Toronto or Montreal or Philadelphia or Detroit (or any other major market team), you're likely salivating just like the players and their agents.