Chicago Blackhawks fans have been eagerly awaiting the NHL’s decision on how high the salary cap will be next season, and according to a new report, the news could be extremely good.
That report, which came out courtesy of The Athletic Toronto’s James Mirtle, indicates that the NHL salary cap will go up for the coming year, with the most likely outcome being a salary cap upper limit of $75 million.
That would only be a $2 million increase from the 2016-17 season, but every little bit would help the Blackhawks. As things stand now, the team has 22 contracts on the books for next season, and those deals total $77.5 million, according to the folks at CapFriendly.
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That number would mean that the Blackhawks would be $2.5 million over the upper limit for the coming year, but by shedding some salary they would be able to fit under the cap without having to go through draconian measures.
There is even more good news later on in Mirtle’s report. According to the columnist, some NHL players are pushing for a full salary cap escalation this year, meaning a five percent bump in the cap for next season. That would put the salary cap over $78 million, which would give the Blackhawks even more flexibility.
In the meantime, the Blackhawks are negotiating with multiple teams on potential trades, according to reports, and they could even be working on a deal that could send both Marcus Kruger and Trevor van Riemsdyk to the Vegas Golden Knights as part of the NHL’s expansion draft next week.
Those moves would save the Blackhawks nearly $4 million in cap space, putting them right around the 2016-17 salary cap ceiling with the minimum number of contracts on their roster.