SBD/April 11, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NHLPA Estimates $62.2M Salary Cap Next Season If Players Trigger Escalator

The NHLPA has told agents that the union "projects a salary cap of approximately $62.2 million next season if the players vote to trigger the 5-percent escalator," according to Larry Brooks of the N.Y. POST. That represents an increase of $2.8M from the current $59.4M cap, or approximately 4.7%. It means that the NHL's "'record' revenues have not increased by the 5 percent the players voted to bump the cap for this season," and the cap "would remain flat or even decrease slightly for the first time if the players opt not to adopt the inflator for next season." This is a "preliminary number recently given to the agents in the union's 'marketplace' assessment that could change slightly depending upon the revenue generated in the playoffs." There is "no guarantee that the union will vote to adopt the 5-percent inflator, given that doing so leads to increased escrow as a tradeoff for additional dollars in the system that benefits free agents and high payroll, powerful teams seeking to keep their rosters intact." But with '11-12 being the final year of the CBA, the 7.5% "bonus cushion that allows clubs to defer up to that amount in performance bonuses on entry level and over-35 contracts will disappear." Sources said that that "will be an important consideration that is expected to prompt [the] players to vote for the escalator." Brooks noted a $62.2M cap would mean a floor of $46.2M (N.Y. POST, 4/10).

EUROPEAN VACATION: The NHL this morning officially announced it will open the ’11-12 season in Europe as part of 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere and NHL Face-Off. The Ducks will play the Sabres in Helsinki on Oct. 7, while the Rangers and Kings will play in Stockholm. Berlin will host the Sabres and Kings on Oct. 8, while the Ducks will stay in Stockholm to play the Rangers. Seventeen of the league’s 30 teams will have participated in regular-season games in Europe since ’07 (NHL).
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