The NHL has experienced a ton of success in recent years, growing exponentially each year since the lockout and the lost season in 2004-05. As a result, the league's salary cap continues to increase along with revenues, and next season, it'll be larger than it's ever been.
As first reported by Bob McKenzie of TSN, the NHL salary cap is expected to rise by about $5 million for the 2011-12 season, up from $59.4 million to around $64 million. The salary floor will rise right along with the cap to $48 million. By comparison, the original cap in 2005-06, the first season back after the lockout, was just $39 million.
Five years after the lockout, the salary floor has risen $9 million above the original cap. That's obviously good news for the league as a whole -- the cap is tied directly to league revenues, and as revenues rise, the cap rises. It's also good news for the large market teams that would spend over the cap if they were allowed. For them, the cap is only a hindrance.
But for small market clubs that already have trouble reaching the floor, it's certainly not good news. It's more expense that those teams have to add, by NHL law, to their books.