Controversial Announcement by Gary Bettman and Its Impact on Kent Hughes

Published June 4, 2023 at 4:42 PM

During his annual speech before the first game of the Stanley Cup Final, the NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman, addressed various issues concerning the league, including next year's salary cap.

An Important Announcement

Bettman stated that the cap will only increase by 1 million dollars next season, reaching $83.5 million, as the player's escrow debt will only be paid off at the end of the 2023-2024 campaign. The commissioner added in his speech that the salary cap would increase significantly for the 2024-2025 season but did not specify what that amount might look like.

This will obviously have an impact on Kent Hughes and the management of his future contracts.

"Gary Bettman says that the players' escrow debt will not be paid off by the end of the season. This likely means a salary cap increase of 1 million dollars next season, with a much larger increase expected for 2024-25."

This was enough to prompt the colorful player agent, Allan Walsh, to respond to the news. He was definitely not happy with Bettman's statements. According to him, the league is not only holding the players and officials hostage, but also the fans. Here's what he had to say via his Twitter account:

"There is an escrow debt of 1.1 billion dollars due to the pandemic by NHL players to the owners. By the end of this season, the balance will have dropped to 70 million dollars. In other words, 93% of the debt will be repaid.

Thus, Gary will hold many of his teams and all the players hostage by only allowing a 1 million dollar increase towards the upper limit instead of a modest 3 million dollar increase justified by next season's projections. Perhaps the players should simply decertify the agreement and get rid of Gary's triple cap system.

Do you know who else Gary is holding hostage here? THE FANS!!!

Gary's own projections for next season would allow a 3 million dollar increase in the cap and a repayment of the entire remaining balance of the escrow debt of 70 million dollars."

As you can see, it doesn't exactly meet with unanimous approval.

The current situation is very frustrating. On one hand, the league's teams are not satisfied because they are not able to spend more this offseason. On the other hand, the players, especially those who are hoping for a big salary this summer, may have to wait until 2024 before getting the money they want. So, we might see a plethora of one-year contracts signed this summer to address the situation. This is not entirely optimal for the long-term management of a team.

June 4   |   343 answers
Controversial Announcement by Gary Bettman and Its Impact on Kent Hughes

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