Capped: Implications of the stagnant cap for your team and league

Alexander MacLean


Usually this article would be summarizing all of the puzzling signings made on July 1st, and applauding the teams that either made one shrewd signing, or generally opted out of the bidding wars. Alas, we just have the news of what the salary cap is likely to look like for the future bidding wars, whenever that may come. There is a lot to unpack with it though, so I will try to cover all of the relevant angles.



What the stagnant cap means for your league:

The obvious answer is that a flat cap means tighter salaries for NHL teams, which will trickle out to your league in various ways depending on how the league is set up. If your cap is tied to the NHL cap, then the cap crunch from this season won't get any easier, though your free agents be signing for less than expected. Your league mates may actually be looking to stock up on some RFAs/UFAs in order to take advantage of what will likely include a few smaller and shorter-term contracts so that the NHL can manage the cap.

If your salary cap is not tied to the NHL cap, then you may have to be ready to adjust it for the season depending on your usual regulations. I'm happy to provide some input to league commissioners if you are looking for suggestions on how to handles the changes. As much as possible, things should just move forward within your normal rules, and the league will adapt to some slightly modified circumstances. Any changes at this point should be made with league votes, as sudden changes to league rules are always a slippery slope.

Generally, after a small increase last summer, most fantasy teams were likely prepared in case the coming bump was another small one, and leagues have generally gotten into a groove with how everything runs in an offseason with only small salary cap changes. Ask around and see how other leagues are managing things. People are always happy to brag about how great their fantasy hockey league setup is, and that's why we have communities like the forums.

The bottom line for your league should be to not overthink things.



What the stagnant cap means for your team:

This means that there are a few different things to look at over the summer, and ave