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NHL announces $71.4 million salary cap for 2015-16 season

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The cap is set for next season.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The National Hockey League announced a $71.4 million salary cap for the 2015-16 season at the GM meetings Tuesday in Las Vegas.

The lower limit is set at $52.8 million.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman had said before that projections pegged the cap somewhere in the U.S. $70-71 million range.

The Chicago Blackhawks will be among the most active teams in the trade market given they will likely dump salaries of Patrick Sharp and Bryan Bickell to re-sign Brandon Saad and pay for raises to other players.

"I've been thinking of that stuff for a long time," GM Stan Bowman said after his team won the Stanley Cup for the third time in six years. "We'll make it work. We've got a plan in place."

The Hawks have $64.045 million on the books for next season, leaving them with $6.9 million of space from the ceiling. Their cap hit ranks sixth in the league, only the Flyers ($69.395 million), Lightning ($67.887 million), Canadiens ($66.475 million), Canucks ($66.369 million) and Bruins ($64.118 million) are higher.

There are nine teams that fall below the $52.8 million lower limit: Panthers ($52.283 million), Ducks ($51.405 million), Capitals ($51.328 million), Flames ($50.429 million), Jets ($49.677 million), Devils ($27.895 million), Sabres ($42.085 million), Predators ($40.355 million) and Coyotes ($34.194 million). The Oilers are just above the lower limit by $57,916.

The cap was $69 million last season, which was an increase from the $64.3 million figure teams worked under in 2013.

The competition committee will meet Tuesday to discuss rule changes like three-on-three overtime and a coach's challenge system.

The board of governors will meet Wednesday.

The NHL awards show will take place Wednesday at MGM Grand. It is the sixth time the show as been in Las Vegas but the first since the city moved to the front of the line for expansion.

(All salary cap information via General Fanager)

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