As the 2018 National Hockey League entry draft approaches, the league is finishing off some business.
A big piece of lingering business was setting the salary cap for the upcoming 2018-19 campaign. The NHL and the NHLPA jointly announced this afternoon that the cap ceiling is set at $79.5 million, with a $58.8 million cap floor.
For the Flames, the $4.5 million cap increase gives them a great deal of financial flexibility headed into this summer. If you look at NHL Numbers (and other, non-Nation affiliated cap sites), the Flames have the majority of their core pieces signed through the 2018-19 season and a lot of cap room.
Presuming no buyouts, they have a goaltender, five defensemen and nine forwards under contract with a $62.5 million cap hit. That leaves them $17 million to sign a backup goalie (potentially one of restricted free agents David Rittich or Jon Gillies), two depth defensemen (including RFA Brett Kulak) and five depth forwards (including RFAs Mark Jankowski, Garnet Hathaway and Nick Shore).
Presuming that none of these players get crazy raises – Jankowski gets $1.5 million and everyone else falls below that level – the Flames will potentially have around $9.8 million in cap space to use on upgrading the team’s roster for the fall.
The cap is set and the Flames have oodles of space. The onus is on general manager Brad Treliving to use it well.