Report: cap to break $53 million mark next season

The NHL salary cap is going up, again.

In just three seasons since the lockout, the cap has already gone from $34.5 million to $50.3 million and, according to a Toronto Star source, it is expected to rise by at least another $3 million for the 2008-09 season.

With player salaries tied directly to overall league revenues, it would seem the NHL is as robust as ever.

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Experts point to the rising Canadian dollar and the all-around health of the game north of the 49th as the main reasons.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has also said merchandising and ticket revenues are up across the league.