The NHL Salary Cap Is Here To Stay

by | Jul 31, 2019 | Soapbox | 13 comments



  1. You know Lyle, I was thinking the best compromise to the salary cap issues may just be out there. Honestly, the hard cap & current buyout rules have taken over the Trade Deadline, the Draft this year & now summer trades & RFA contract signings. We are seeing teams like Ottawa add salary cap but not actual salary as a loop hole. Its a rip off to it’s fans & I have to pitty anyone who pays cash for tickets to go see them play.

    To me the immediate solution is to get rid of guaranteed contracts but we all know hockey would shut down & that would be a hill that players die on.

    However, maybe both sides would benefit if buyouts had no impact on counting against the cap. The way contracts are front loaded these days, GM’s know players will regress & probably sign some deals full well knowing there is a buyout in the future. Bobrovski deal comes to mind.

    Anyway, it would put an end to hookey trades like we are seeing & let the GM’s be accountable to the Owners who wind up writing the cheques on these buyouts.
    I do think both sides benefit from this & keeps the hard cap in place. Just food for thought.

    • Of course that would require the length of contracts allowed may be shortened, because like every other good intention rule gets manipulated to circumvent rules.
      So what, make the max term for contracts 5 or 6 years.
      Would be interesting to see how many 7-8 year deals went through the entirety of the deal with the player.

    • Ottawa is a rip off to it’s fans? That’s ridiculous.
      Wonder how many people in Quebec would like to have the Senators?
      And if you live in Ottawa and think your ticket purchases are a rip off, then don’t buy the tickets.
      If I lived in Ottawa, I would be thankful to have a NHL franchise and I remind folks in my own area the Blues could have moved to Saskatoon each time I heard the whining and crying in all those past years.

  2. Of course the length of contracts would have to be shortened because you know the rich teams would sign all max term contracts to keep the cap hit down. But so what if the max terms are 5 or 6 years deals. Would be interesting to see how many players played through the entirety of a 7 or 8 year deal.

    • Sadly you can’t really blame that on the NHL or the cap. It’s just part of living in the US and Canada, sometimes you land in a place that gives you lemons (TOR) and some places give you lemonade (FLA).

      If anything it can been seen as an allure to some of the ‘smaller market’ teams like FLA.

  3. Actually the salary cap keeps us talking. The teams trade players that don’t play anymore.
    And the favorite line is
    Oh they won’t be able to move that contract.
    And then they do.
    And if we didn’t have the salary cap Ottawa and Columbus wouldn’t be able to compete.
    Not sure but I think Ottawa, Edmonton were more competitive before the salary cap. Columbus was only competitive this year. Florida has been a powerhouse.
    Arizona has been buying bad contracts for years, but their rebuilding. Islanders had 1 good year.
    Boy seems still to be pretty consistent which teams suck.
    Good thing for the salary cap so they can afford to suck.
    But I do love hockey.

  4. RFA status needs to be amended. . I get these players want to be paid: I think the era of the bridge deal has gone dinosaur and teams with RFA contracts feel they are being held hostage,

    Salary cap is likely now written in stone: Entry level contracts perhaps should be extended to 5 years BUT after that 5 Year deal is done, they can become UFA’s. The bridge deal is really no longer in play.

    Might just unclog the red tape that seems to prevail as it pertains to RFA’s and give a more realistic cost certainty to teams moving forward. Just a thought

  5. Furthermore, after 5 years. having been drafted as an 18-19 year old, your body of work has clearly been documented and the rate of development has likely emerged meaning that every player has been given the same fair chance to show their draft team what they are made of; and that; gives any team, enough info to determine whether you, as a UFA, are full value for what you ask as a UFA moving forward !

    Yes, its not perfect, the RFA’s, are changing the landscape and the NHL and its PA need to rethink things in some areas and this is one of them

  6. Some things they could do is have no offer sheets until 5 years. Have arbitration after 3. Leave the 18 year old in junior or college, every time, so you don’t burn a year of elc.
    Or the GM’s could simply stand firm after ELC’s and let the players sit if they don’t sign. Offer sheets are rare for a reason. Simply let them sit and risk a full year. Has any player actually done that?

    • I believe Mike Peca sat out a whole year. I will look that up.

  7. The system isn’t broken, it is working fine. No matter the system we will find something for complain about.

  8. Or use a different entry level contract say 3 years with 2 one year options at 2.5M for a 4th year and 4M if they elect to exercise the 5th year.. Similar to NFL entry contracts