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Report: There’s a chance NHL salary cap could drop below $70M next season

NHLPA Member Meeting

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13: Don Fehr, executive director of the National Hockey League Players Association meets with the media at the Marriott Marquis Times Square on September 13, 2012 in New York City. Joining him from left to right is Ruslan Fedotenko, Henrik Lundqvist, Zdeno Chara and Sidney Crosby. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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In March, the NHL salary cap was projected to rise to $74 million for next season. Last week, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said he expects the cap to remain “relatively flat” for next season.

The salary cap for 2015-16 is $71.4 million.

And now there’s been a report from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet during the broadcast of Game 3 that the "...players were told this week when they met with the NHLPA that if they don’t vote to increase the salary cap by five per cent, there’s a chance it could go down below $70 million next year.”

If that does occur, the cap going below $70 million, it could potentially mean less money for free agents this summer, and this is a free agent class that could include a player like Steven Stamkos.

From Friedman and Sportsnet:

Meanwhile, the NHLPA meets this week in Chicago, and, among the discussion topics is if the membership will vote to raise the cap by up to five per cent, as is its right. It’s happened every year but once, and that was a decade ago, the first time this option existed. In recent seasons, players have made more noise about saying no, as it hurts their escrow payments. But whenever the moment of truth arrives, they go for the max.

Those eligible for free agency (and their agents) make it very clear: Why should we be punished, when others weren’t? Don’t expect a decision for a week or so, as players who attend the meetings will likely take some time to consult with teammates before the vote.

As stated on PHT last week, an agreement between the NHLPA and the league needs to be reached ahead of June 30, with free agency opening the next day.