Every since the lockout ended NHL Teams and General Managers have been spending, spending and spending some more on players. The result is NHL salaries are escalating at a much faster rate than the salary cap. This means a lot of teams are running out of cap space to just keep their current team. Many NHL GM’s who had a team last season near the salary cap ceiling were beyond disappointed to learn that the cap ceiling only went up to 69 Million for next season. It was estimated the cap ceiling would go to 71 Million but that estimate was slightly off.
The 5 Million Dollar Player
In essence we have seen with players who are good to very good when they either become an unrestricted free agent or about to become a UFA the base line salary per year is 5 Million dollars. We look at last summer and Mark Streit at age 36 got 5.25 Million a year (4 year deal), Sergei Gonchar in his late 30′s got 5 Million a year (2 year deal) and right before the playoffs started Andrew MacDonald got 5 Million a year (6 year deal). This trend continued this free agency with players like Moulson, Cammalleri, Orpik and Grabovski to name a few.
5 Million Dollar Base Line
This base line is starting to also greatly effect the top young players in the NHL who are entering Restricted Free Agency as well as the superstars in the league who are closing in on their own unrestricted free agency. So what do the NY Rangers do this summer when they try to sign restricted free agents Zuccarello, Brassard and Kreider and all 3 point to these 5 Million dollar deals? Continue reading