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NHL estimates next season's salary cap maximum at $74.5 million

That's an increase of over three million compared to this year, if it gets that high.

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On the first day of the NHL's most recent Board of Governors meetings in sunny California, the league announced the upper projection of next season's salary cap to be $74.5 million. Between this year and next, the league's cap could change by just a hair over three million dollars.

The projections are extremely, extremely early, so it is very possible these numbers could go down. They did with this season's cap, with the initial projections of $73 million slashed by two million thanks to the rapid fall of the Canadian dollar.

The Canadian dollar has certainly affected next year's number as well, keeping it to a more modest increase instead of a bigger leap. It's frustrating, for sure, and it could be more so should the NHL's top projection numbers not pan out.

This year, many teams -- even the Stanley Cup Champions in Chicago -- were cap strapped thanks to the low numbers. If the number falls as the Canadian dollar goes, potentially even more teams could see troubles next season.