The NHL GM Meetings kick off from Boca Raton today with Golden Knights GM George McPhee finally allowed to be a part. The 31 general managers will discuss things like coaches challenges, the offside rule, bye weeks, concussion protocol, among many other rules and regulations.
There’s one that’s particularly interesting to Vegas though, and it has nothing to do with the Expansion Draft. It’s the salary cap and how projections are for it to remain stagnant rather than the normal annual increase.
The NHL apparently anticipates the cap to remain flat next season, with little if any increase projected over this year’s $73 million ceiling. So the major-market franchises that drive NHL revenue and successful clubs that habitually are cap teams get hammered again in attempting to maintain — or improve — their personnel while the small market clubs go along for the ride. –Larry Brooks, New York Post
If this does indeed come true, which we should find out sometime over the next three days, it’s a win for the Golden Knights.
We’ve always known that teams are going to be looking for a way to dump contracts on McPhee, which he has a plan for.
I’m not taking on any bad contracts unless someone wants to pay us to take on a bad contract. I’m really not interested in that, we’ll claim somebody else if we have to. -George McPhee
With the cap not increasing, teams like Chicago, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and a host of others who are already up against it will have some tough decisions to make.
The Golden Knights have $73 million to work with, and by the beginning of the 2017-18 season must have at least $54 million on the books. They are the clear first place to look for teams who need cap relief. The worse the situation, the bigger the price for Vegas to offer a helping hand.
Due to the stagnant cap, and even with the Expansion Draft, there will be some big named cap casualties; players teams just can’t find a way to afford. It may not be in Vegas’ best interest to sign these guys, but what it will do is take them off good teams, and put them on a worse team. Thus creating parity, which is excellent for a new franchise coming into the league. The more knocks the Penguins, Blackhawks, Capitals, and especially the Ducks, Sharks, Kings, and every other Pacific Division team take, the closer to competitive the Golden Knights will be.
Keep on eye on that cap figure over the next few days at the meetings, and cross your fingers that it stays at $73 million. Cause if it does, it means better value on expansion trades, more parity, and a lower floor Vegas has to hit in year one. The salary cap is the biggest asset the Golden Knights have, every single dollar counts, hopefully the NHL continues doing Vegas favors with it.