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NHL projects 2018-19 salary cap to be around $80 million

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The Blackhawks could have about $10 million in salary cap space.

2017 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daley said during a press conference Monday that the salary crap for the 2018-19 season is projected to be around $80 million, up $5 million from this season reports Pierre LeBrun of TSN.

This is welcomed news for Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman, who in recent years has found creative ways to acquire assets to push for a playoff run and stay within the cap.

The Blackhawks currently have $68.72 million — with salary cap overage from this past season’s team performance bonuses — committed to eight forwards, seven defenseman and two goaltenders for next season, according to CapFriendly.

The Hawks’ $68.72 million figure does include Hossa, whose contract remains on the books until the Hawks can place him on long-term injured reserve on the first day of the 2018-19 season, like they did in 2017. Hossa told Slovakia newspaper Novy cas earlier this month his playing days are over due to a progressive skin disorder caused by his hockey equipment.

Bowman said during the team’s locker room clean out day that re-signing the team’s young restricted free agents of Anthony Duclair, John Hayden and Vinnie Hinostroza would be a priority in the offseason. This means the Hawks’ original figure of about $10 million in cap space would likely dip to about $6 to 6.5 million based on new contracts for the trio and assuming no substantial trades are made.