Cap Number Rises to $50.3 Million

It appears as though the Salary Cap for this coming season will be on the rise. While that was already assumed, what comes as a surprise is the fact the cap will be over $50 million.

According to the Globe and Mail, the new cap number for the 2007/2008 season will be 50.3 million. The new cap floor will be 34.3 million.

Here is the link to the story:

This is certainly going to give some teams that extra cap room they need to make a major acquisition come July 1st.

With 4 big time free agents available in Ryan Smyth, Scott Gomez, Chris Drury and Daniel Briere, having such a large cap number is going to get a significant number of teams in on the bidding war for one of these player’s services.

I believe having such a major increase in cap number is a big mistake by both the NHL and the NHLPA. Indeed, the league has done better than expected after shutting down in 2005 and coming back with quite a bit of uncertainty in terms of fan interest.

But still, to have teams barely keeping afloat, owners screaming of big losses and then to go out and raise the cap number from 39 million to over 50 million in a mere 2 years is a bit much.

Because there is a cap floor, there wont be anything like previous years where some teams spent almost 50 million more in salary than others. However, the question that remains is whether some of these smaller markets can keep up with the rising cap floor?

Take a look at the Predators? I mean they are about to be sold and have gutted their team of some talented players with potentially more to come. With a current owner there incurring losses by the minute ever since the team’s inception, will he really want to spend 34 million in salary?

Or how about the Penguins? They still play in a money losing arena and will for at least a couple more seasons. Despite having a good team that will be a playoff team for years to come, they are not completely out of the red and fully stabilized just yet.

And then you have teams like the Panthers, Thrashers, Coyotes who are in a dogfight to lure fans to their games. I cant see them as being profitable.

It makes you wonder why the league is so dead set on saving these teams, when their financial decisions do nothing but harm them.

To me, the increase in the cap number promotes owners to be more stupid and more foolish in terms of spending. All it gives them is more room to make mistakes, instead of forcing them to learn from them by managing their budget better. The evidence of this will be overwhelming the next few months.