With the global economy continuing to struggle, the pain may be felt by NHL players next season.
According to a report in the Globe and Mail, an NHL source says that barring a miraculous recovery by the economy, players stand to lose some of their escrow money next season.
While the cap wouldn't change from the $56.7 million mark, with the escrow money not being given back to the players at the end of the season, the actual money spent by a team at the cap is closer to $48 million.
The source told the Globe and Mail the salary cap is expected to drop for the first time next season, but only to about $55 million. But with revenues expected to drop during the course of next season, the difference would be made up from the players' escrow fund.
Under the existing collective agreement, the players' salaries are linked to the owners' hockey-related revenue, based on several factors. Last season, the players received 56.7 percent of the revenue and that is not expected to change this season.
The report indicates that in two of the three seasons since the lockout, the players received more than 100 percent of the face value of their contracts.