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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Bettman Says NHL Salary Cap Could Rise by $4M

  • The NHL's salary cap could rise by $4 million, contingent on season revenue.
  • Players took on around $1 billion in debt in recent seasons.
NHL-Gary-Bettman
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The National Hockey League could pay off a major pandemic debt — which could have major implications for its salary cap.

The cap was decoupled from league revenues when the pandemic forced teams to play in empty arenas, but could rise significantly next year if revenues reach high enough for players to pay off around $1 billion in accumulated debts to owners.

“We believe that there is a good probability that the escrow will be paid off this season,” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Tuesday. “It may not be, but it’s going to be close we think, which means the flat cap will be replaced by a bigger increase.”

  • Bettman said the league notched around $5.4 billion in hockey-related revenue last season, beating its own projections by around $500 million.
  • The cap reached $82.5 million after increasing by $1 million, its first increase in three years. 
  • It will rise by that amount again next year if the players are still in debt. Otherwise it could go up by as much as $4 million.

Lack of Diversity

The NHL released its first diversity and inclusion report on Tuesday, which revealed a league and staff dominated by people of European descent.

Team players and employees are 83.6% white, with the remainder split mostly between Asian (4.2%), Black (3.7%), and Hispanic (3.7%) people.

Full-time internships and fellowships showed a similar, if less stark trend, at 65.4% white, as did human resources departments, which were 69.6% white.

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