For months, NHL teams had been operating with the hope that the salary cap for the upcoming 2019-20 season would be around $83 million.
On Saturday, the NHL delivered bad news to all 31 teams.
The Upper Limit of the Team Salary Range has been set at $81.5 million.
For general manager Doug Wilson and the rest of the Sharks' front office, this is not what they wanted to hear. With several key restricted and unrestricted free agents, San Jose needs as much cap room as possible.
According to CapFriendly.com, as of Saturday, the Sharks have $66,657,417 in contracts on the books for next season, leaving them with $14,842,583 in cap space.
Wilson took care of one his top priorities earlier this week when he locked up defenseman Erik Karlsson to an eight-year, $92 million contract.
But now Wilson and his staff must turn their attention to captain Joe Pavelski, who is an unrestricted free agent.
The Sharks have five other unrestricted free agents: Joonas Donskoi, Micheal Haley, Joe Thornton, Gus Nyquist and Tim Heed.
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Kevin Labanc, Timo Meier, Dylan Gambrell and Joakim Ryan are restricted free agents.
Wilson has his work cut out for him this summer, and Saturday's news of a lower salary cap doesn't help.