Gary Bettman's big announcement: NHL GMs taken by surprise

Published October 25, 2022 at 6:07 PM

A few days ago, we learned that the league could see a significant salary cap increase sooner than expected.

Gary Bettman mentioned, after a meeting of the NHL Board of Governors, that the escrow collections claimed from the players will "probably" be paid out at the end of this campaign. If so, the salary cap will increase by about $4 million this summer.

This would be a major announcement.

It would have been logical to think that this news would come as a relief to the various GMs around the league, but that was not the case. According to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek, the major players seem to have been surprised by Gary Bettman's announcement.

Bettman took the GMs by surprise with this important announcement.

"I have a few people who have told me they were surprised to hear that the cap could go up 4 million or close to it. Because they say it's ambitious, it's it's challenging and there are no guarantees." - Elliotte Friedman

Friedman's theory is that Bettman made the announcement to project to everyone that the league is healthy. That's his role, he's always done that since he's been in charge of the league. In these difficult economic times, he wants to show that it is healthy to be in partnership with the league because it is healthy.

Again, according to Friedman, some GMs will continue to maneuver their rosters as if this increase will not happen, or at least until it is officially announced. These teams will continue to manage their future with the initially planned increase of $1M for next season and no more.

It will be interesting to see which side Kent Hughes is on. Will he believe Bettman or will he leave himself some leeway in case the $4M increase doesn't happen?

With the likely departures of Sean Manahan, Jonathan Drouin, Evgeni Dadonov and Paul Byron, who will free up nearly $20.275M next summer, Hughes already has a good margin for the 2023-2024 season though. However, he will have to plan for Cole Caufield's next contract, which could very well be similar to that of captain Nick Suzuki!
October 25   |   89 answers
Gary Bettman's big announcement: NHL GMs taken by surprise

Do you actually think the salary cap will increase by 4M next year?

Yes6067.4 %
No, Bettman is bluffing2932.6 %
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