Thursday, June 26, 2008

NHL Ups The Ante

The NHL raised the cap hit from $50.3 million to $56.7 million for the '08 - '09 season. The lower limit has gone up as well, teams can spend no less than $40.7 million on player salaries. Most of this can be contributed to the NHL's success last season and teams actually turning a profit last year. But what does it mean for the Caps?

With some key restricted free agents to sign, GM George McPhee can breathe a little easier knowing that not only does he have some cap space left from last year, now he has a buffer. The down side will be the agents taking advantage of that fact as well.

But just because the cap has expanded doesn't mean that Uncle Ted's pockets have either. While it's a closely held secret to what the Caps can spend on player salaries, I doubt the Caps will take their salaries to the limit. First, $56 million is a lot of money, and second, it's not that smart to be pushing the cap limit in case of player movement.

We will soon see how the cap push helps (or hurts) the Caps as July 1st comes around. Hopefully the cap raise doesn't mean a raise in ticket prices.

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