The NHL salary cap appears set to rise once more.
According to TSN Hockey Insiders Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger, the cap is expected to rise to $71.1 million for the 2014-15 season according to a projection that was presented at the NHL's Board of Governors meeting in Pebble Beach, California.
The cap is currently set at $64.3 million in this, the second season under the NHL's latest collective bargaining agreement.
Teams must currently hit a minimum salary cap obligation of $44 million, based on average annual salary over the length of a player's contract. The cap floor is expected to rise to roughly $52 million.
"These are preliminary estimates, it's in that range," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com. "And I said to the board there shouldn't be any issue or consternation, if that's the cap level, it's because the revenues have gone up. And that's a good thing."
During the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, the NHL salary cap was $70.2 million.
"I think $71 million is an indication that the NHL is healthy and that's good for everybody," St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong told LeBrun.
"The business is certainly healthy and it's recovered quite well, and that gets reflected in an equal partnership with us and that was nice to see," said Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli.
The additional cap space will present an opportunity to all clubs to raise their spending. Big market teams will be looking to take advantage of the extra flexibility.
"None of us know what the actual number will be at the end of the day, but a projected number in that range just adds flexibility for us and adds the opportunity for us to spend that money wisely," said Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis. "And if we can do it wisely, then we look at it as opportunity."
For smaller market teams like the Florida Panthers and Winnipeg Jets, a higher floor number to spend to could create issues. But the Jets told the Canadian Press that they were not concerned.
"It doesn't affect us," said Jets chairman Mark Chipman. "There's a rising tide for sure and we're quite comfortable with where we rank in terms of revenue production."
Nashville Predators general manager David Poile suggested that the new cap and floor numbers are a sign of the times.
"I think that's all good news. We've got to move with everybody else. There's a lot of components in the way this whole thing's been put together. There's revenue sharing for teams like ourselves that it always works out.
"I think the main thing you've got to focus on is how good the business is doing. This is fabulous just the way the game has been growing. The fact that we're playing these outdoor games is going to create a lot more interest than we've ever had before. As far as I can see it, there's just a lot of good things happening."