The 2019 NHL Draft begins in two days, and 2019 NHL free agency begins in less than a week, but general managers around the league have reportedly yet to receive confirmation of the salary cap for 2019-20.
That's according to TSN's Darren Dreger, who reported Wednesday that "more than a few" GMs are "frustrated by the possibility" of the NHL and NHL Players' Association waiting until Saturday to divulge next year's cap range.
"Tough to make trades and do business without knowing the exact cap number," Dreger wrote on Twitter.
The NHL's annual salary cap is traditionally announced shortly before the Entry Draft. The league announced its 2018 cap, for example, on June 21, the day before the draft; and announced its 2017 cap on June 18, five days before the draft. This year, however, a Saturday announcement would mean teams would enter -- and potentially complete -- the 2019 draft without knowing the cap.
Dreger's report comes a day after Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman speculated the NHL salary cap could be tightened over the next two seasons in an effort to maintain peace in labor negotiations. TSN reported earlier in the week the cap could come in below initial estimates of $83 million, one year after the cap rose from $75 million to $79.5 in 2018-19.
The issue hasn't stopped some teams from staying busy ahead of the official start of free agency, of course. The Philadelphia Flyers are fresh off their second trade of the week and just announced a lucrative contract for another trade acquisition, Kevin Hayes. The New York Rangers with the Winnipeg Jets. And the San Jose Sharks just to Erik Karlsson.