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Report: NHL salary cap to rise to upward of $71 million next season

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

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On the long agenda of items to discuss at the Board of Governors meetings this week in Pebble Beach, one of the more anticipated items was what the salary cap is going to look like for next season.

It has been no secret that the salary cap was going to rise from its $64.3 million mark this season, the question was about how much it was going to rise. The answer is a lot.

If the new cap hits the upper end of that projection we're talking about a near $7 million increase. That's a lot of money for teams to spend unwisely in free agency (or a few teams who spend wisely to continue to do that, too).

With the cap escalating so quickly it almost makes you wonder why we went through another lockout last year. At least teams that live on the floor might be wondering that as with the cap going up, so will the salary floor. On the other side of the coin, it also means league revenues are much better and so they should be getting more cash in their pockets to spend.

Also on the to-do list for the Governors was to consider the recent deal that the NHL reached with networks in Canada. No surprise, they approved the contract to make it official. It's a massive deal that adds a lot to the bottom line by itself. It is a 12-year contract worth a whopping $5.2 billion (Canadian) over the duration.

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