A Rising Cap?

Alexander MacLean

2017-12-14

 

This week's Capped discusses the news that the salary cap will be increasing between four and seven percent for the upcoming season.

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The old adage says that the rich get richer. Well it seems as though upcoming free agents are going to be ending up with a little extra pocket change again this year. According to commissioner Gary Bettman, the salary cap stands to increase between $3-7 million. The upper end of that would be the largest percentage increase since the $6.4 million jump from $50.3 million in 2007-08 to $56.7 million in 2008-09. Here are some of the most impactful conclusions we can draw from this to apply to our fantasy hockey experiences.

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The Immediate Impact

 

The immediate impact here really just comes down to how greedy creative teams will be at using the extra space. Teams will have an added amount to overpay free agents, take on cap dumps, and generally push rookies down the lineup. The 2018 free agent class will hit July first knowing that each team has just opened up cap space, meaning there will be more bidding wars than we have seen in the last few years. The free agent crop has some intriguing names, however we all know that very few of the big names actually make it to the open market anymore.

 

Top players such as John Tavares, John Carlson, Patrick Hornqvist, among others, will likely re-sign with their current squads. Possible rentals at the trade deadline including James Neal, Cam Ward, Daniel and Henrik Sedin, may end up re-signing with their “renter” team. This usually leaves the market fairly barren, leading to the assumption that individuals expected to test the market in the mold of Joe Thornton, James van Riemsdyk and Mike Green could end up with much larger contracts than expected. We saw both Thornton and former teammate Patrick Marleau hugely exceed their expected salaries last summer, and this was after a much smaller cap bump. Again, be wary of your cap league players who are expecting new deals this summer, they will probably be getting more than you expect, whether they make it to July first or not.

 

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The Rookies

We all know that rookies