GM's Attempting to Force Gary Bettman to Raise the Salary Cap

Published March 14, 2023 at 8:31 PM

The salary cap is a main source of contention at the GM meetings. GM's are unhappy, and Gary Bettman won't budge. That could change soon.

GM's May Force Bettman's Hand

The annual GM meetings are in full force, and owners and GM's are unhappy.

Per Frank Seravalli of the Daily Daceoff, there is pressure for the league to increase the salary cap more than the scheduled $1-million.

It's all anyone really cares about. It's not the rule changes or any of the juicy debates about who's the next GM of what, every fanbase and every front office wants to know what's next with the salary cap. Is it only going to be increasing $1 million to $83.5 next season, or is there room for more?

I don't expect that we'll get an answer from the commissioner on Wednesday as he addresses the media at the conclusion of these GM meetings. I think that he'll say «Look, we're in a spot where the calculations and projections are not final, or on track to move the debt down from players to owners to a very negligible amount». And by the letter of the law in the CBA, the way that this was negotiated, is that does mean a scant $1 million increase.

However, what I will say, and I don't expect him to broadcast, is the idea that he's going to be getting heat from owners, and especially people on the NHL's executive committee, to get this cap moving. We don't need a fourth straight season of a frozen salary cap, especially when the debt will be paid off in the first weeks of next season more than likely. So, he's going to be getting pressure from the owners side, but at the same time, he's now getting into negotiations with an unknown character in the sense that we don't know that much about NHLPA incoming executive director Marty Walsh and how he plans to operate.

So moving forward, it'll be interesting to see those two get together at the table for the first time, because this is a pretty big sticking point moving forward, and as much as teams would like some clarity now, I have a feeling we won't end up getting it until the next GM meeting convenes in Nashville during the week of the NHL Draft, and that's when we'll find out more, but until then, I don't expect much by way of an update.

So, while Bettman is hesitant to make any moves, owners and GM's are getting pissed off. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like we'll be getting any clarity at these GM meetings.


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March 14   |   276 answers
GM's Attempting to Force Gary Bettman to Raise the Salary Cap

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