The NHL's flat cap world looks to be short-lived.
Speaking to reporters upon the conclusion of the second day of the NHL's annual GM meetings in Florida, commissioner Gary Bettman revealed that the league's salary cap is expected to rise by approximately $1 million ahead of the 2022-23 season, bringing the ceiling to $82.5 million.
This increase, which was speculated months ago and now confirmed by Bettman himself, is a pleasant development in the NHL's return from the COVID-19 pandemic.
When the league temporarily shut down in Mar. 2020 amid the virus' first wave, many predicted that the financial toll levied upon it by empty buildings and COVID-related costs would force the salary cap to stay stagnant for the foreseeable future. Thankfully, that is not the case, with Bettman announcing on Friday that the NHL is expected to generate approximately $5 billion in revenue for the 2021-22 season, a projection that comes in above the league's initial $4.8 estimation.
Furthermore, Bettman forecasted additional cap increases to come in the future, which will kick in once the players have paid back the escrow debt owed to the owners.
According to Bettman, that is expected to happen by the end of the 2023-24 season, after which the cap will likely continue to rise substantially year by year.