NHL salary cap ceiling will rise to $75 million next season

Which sure beats a $73 million ceiling.

One of the biggest questions regarding the Blackhawks’ offseason appears to have an answer. The NHL salary cap will rise to $75 million for the 2017-18 season. That’s an increase of $2 million from the previous upper limit.

The early reports of a $73 million salary cap were a potential nightmare for the Blackhawks, with 22 players on contract for next season with a projected cap hit of $77,520,628 according to CapFriendly.

It falls short of the projected salary cap ceiling of over $77 million, had the NHLPA elected to use all five percent of its escalator clause for the cap. But a lower increase in the salary cap means that the players will not have as much money withheld from their paychecks during the 2017-18 season.

GM Stan Bowman clearly still has some work to do to get the Hawks salary cap compliant before the next season while improving a roster that was swept from the first round of the playoffs this season. The widely-speculated removal of Marcus Kruger’s $3.083 million cap hit would get the Hawks under $75 million, but there are almost certainly other dominoes left to fall as Bowman looks to build a team that can make it out of the first round of the playoffs again.