The NHL’s Board of Governors got through their first day of meetings in Pebble Beach, Florida yesterday. The two big issues that were covered were the board approving the twelve year, 5.2 billion dollar television deal with Rogers, and what the salary cap is going to look like for next season. With profits heading up, the cap was going to rise from its $64.3 million mark this season. If the projections match the initial estimates, the teams can expect a ten percent jump to their salary cap next season. With so many teams having considerable portions of their roster uncommitted next season, this is welcome news.
This will also raise the cap floor about eighteen percent. Last season’s floor was forty four million, and now it looks like it’s going to be fifty two million. While these appear only to be estimates for now, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman seems sure that while the numbers might fluctuate slightly, in the end the new cap and floor should be at the initial estimate.
“I said to the board there shouldn’t be any issue or consternation,” offered Bettman to the media after the meeting wrapped up for the day. “If that’s the cap level, it’s because the revenues have gone up. We try to give people a sense of where we think it’ll come out. It’s subject to a whole host of issues, ultimately how much revenue is generated, where the Canadian dollar is, because we convert to U.S. dollars. If you want a rough, rough, rough ballpark, OK, but it could change.”
“Everything that’s happened is a testament to the enduring strength of our game and the passion of our fans. Things build on each other. When you put the right foundations in place, when you have the right system, you bring in good owners, good things happen.”
Today’s meetings will focus around player safety. It’s likely to see the board discuss the impending class action litigation filed by several hundred retired players who state the league didn’t take enough action to regard player safety in the past.