NHL’s salary cap rises $5.9-million to $70.2-million

The Globe and Mail

In this photo taken April 19, 2011, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman poses at the offices of the National Hockey League in New York. Speaking after the NHL's Board of Governors meeting on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2011. (Richard Drew/AP/Richard Drew/AP)

The NHL’s salary cap is taking another big jump.

At least for now.

The league announced on Thursday that the cap will rise to $70.2-million (U.S.) for 2012-13, which is up more than 9 per cent from $64.3-million last season.

The cap has nearly doubled from 2005-06 – its first year in existence – when it was just $39-million coming out of the 2004-05 lockout.

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The rise means the salary floor, which is set at $16-million below the cap, will now be $54.2-million.

Under the league’s current collective bargaining agreement, the NHL’s floor and cap are tied directly to revenues, which hit a record $3.3-billion this past season.

That cap figure, however, is expected to change. The NHL and NHL Players’ Association are set to begin negotiations on a new CBA on Friday, and one of the main targets of league ownership will be the players’ share of revenue.

Based on the current system, if the players receive a lower portion of revenue, the cap will decrease accordingly, meaning the $70.2-million figure may only be in effect for the off-season.

The CBA is scheduled to expire on Sept. 15.

James Mirtle