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NHL will have a $75 million salary cap for 2017-18 season

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The agreement increases the salary cap by $2 million, and should give the Flyers a bit more flexibility to figure out the rest of their roster.

2017 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game One Photo by Matt Kincaid/Getty Images

Earlier this week, we took a look at the Flyers’ current salary cap situation, as the team heads into the busiest part of the offseason with 17 players under contract and in need of a goalie and potentially a few other players. Our conclusion on Tuesday was that, were the cap to remain flat, the Flyers would maybe need to make a move or two to get themselves out of minor cap trouble — a scenario that, as Flyers fans, we are certainly familiar with.

But even then, it looked like the Flyers were maybe just $1-2 million away from having the space they’d need to sign a goalie, Jordan Weal, and any other young players that they were looking to bring into the fold this year, and still have enough space left over in the event of injuries and contract bonuses.

News today suggests that they may have just found that extra money, as NHL teams have reportedly been told that they’ll have a $75 million cap — a $2 million increase from last year’s $73 million — for the 2017-18 season.

The news of a likely $75 million cap was first reported on Wednesday (paywall article) by The Athletic’s James Mirtle, who also confirmed on Friday morning that the players were voting on — and likely to approve — the exact number. This news comes after various cap-related reports over last weekend, reports which ranged from “the cap will remain flat” to “the cap won’t go up by the full five percent that it usually does, but it won’t remain flat”. (We discussed those reports in more detail in Tuesday’s post.)

This cap increase — in light of reports that the league’s year-over-year revenues have largely remained flat — means that the NHLPA agreed on an escalator amount that was less five percent, which is the maximum amount they are allowed to apply. This would instead represent a 2.7 percent year-over-year increase. Odds that the cap would remain totally flat always were low, even if the PA was resistant to apply the full cap escalator because of escrow-related concerns.

So what’s that mean for the Flyers? Here’s our table from Tuesday, updated with this new cap figure:

Flyers Salary Cap 2017-18

FORWARDS: CAP HIT: DEFENSEMEN: CAP HIT: GOALTENDERS: CAP HIT:
FORWARDS: CAP HIT: DEFENSEMEN: CAP HIT: GOALTENDERS: CAP HIT:
Giroux 8.275 MacDonald 5.000 Neuvirth 2.500
Voracek 8.250 Gostisbehere 4.500
Schenn 5.125 Gudas 3.350
Filppula 5.000 Manning 0.975
Couturier 4.333 Provorov 0.894
Simmonds 3.975
Read 3.625
Weise 2.350
Raffl 2.350
Bellemare 1.450
Konecny 0.894
PLAYERS: 11 PLAYERS: 5 PLAYERS: 1
CAP HIT: 45.628 CAP HIT: 14.719 CAP HIT: 2.500
TOTAL PLAYERS: 17 BUYOUTS: 1 SALARY CAP: 75.000
TOTAL CAP HIT: 62.847 BUYOUT COST: 1.500 CAP ROOM: 10.653

With that, the Flyers are now looking at a touch under $11 million to fill the last seven spots on their roster — four or five of which are likely to go to players on entry-level or inexpensive RFA contracts. If it shakes out that way, the Flyers would have some $6-7 million to re-sign Weal (or his replacement) and find a goalie.

It’s possible that this still proves to be a tight fit, particularly since the Flyers are going to want to budget a little bit of space under the cap in case players get injured or reach bonuses at the end of next year. But Ron Hextall is probably not going to be searching for cap space under his couch cushions over the next few weeks, and that’s a good sign if nothing else. And if Vegas takes a player currently under contract in Wednesday’s expansion draft, the Flyers — dare we say it? — really could find themselves in the clear, or at least enough so that we aren’t spending all of the offseason and next season worrying about cap-related headaches the way we so frequently are.