TORONTO - The NHL Players' Association has decided to trigger the growth factor in the salary cap for next season, pushing the upper limit to roughly US$64 million.
A source told The Canadian Press that the union's executive board voted via conference call Monday to have five per cent added to the calculation of next year's salary cap—a decision it gets to make each spring to account for inflation. The NHLPA has chosen to have the five per cent added every year but one since it was brought into existence.
The official number for next year's salary cap is expected to be announced this week.
The cap has risen steadily since it was created coming out of the 2004-05 lockout. It was originally set at $39 million, but had grown to $59.4 million by last season and will rise by another $5 million for 2011-12—the final year of the current collective bargaining agreement.
The limit on what teams can spend is based on a percentage of overall revenue brought in by the league the previous season, in addition to the five per cent growth factor held by the NHLPA.
A continually rising salary cap has brought some challenges for the lower-income teams in the league. With next year's limit on payroll to be set at $64 million, the salary floor will fall around $48 million—more money than some owners would like to spend.