What teams suffer the most from a flat cap?

As we approach NHL Free Agency we will see a new type of contracts, those signed under the new CBA. They will be the first signed with the knowledge of what the salary cap will look like multiple years down the road. Teams would very much enjoy this insight under normal circumstances, however knowing the cap will remain flat seems like a dark cloud over their heads.
The National Hockey League’s highest paid players are demanding higher salaries every year, based on the annual increase of the upper limit. Now, it is not clear if the cap will rise until 2022, and even then the increase would be limited to $1m. Top free agents now have to negotiate for the same contract value as their comparables, rather than percentage of the cap. Even then, existing contracts were signed with the expectation that the percentage of the cap that contract occupied would dwindle over time. Every cent of every contract from this point on will take up a measured amount of space in a team’s cap structure.
The two big extensions already signed under this CBA are examples of how the flat cap will impact negotiations. Those belong to defencemen …

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Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation

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