On Wednesday, the final day of the General Managers Meetings, it became known the salary cap is projected to be between $75.5 and $76.0 million for the 2017-18 season.
Bill Daly says the NHL's salary cap is projected to be $75.5M-$76M next season, but adds it will depend on inflator negotiations with NHLPA.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) March 8, 2017
That estimate assumes the players’ association will exercise its option to inflate the actual cap by five percent above the projected revenue available, with the hope the the actual funds at the end of the season will have grown to match.
With the current estimate as a guideline, here is what the Montreal Canadiens’ current financial situation for next season looks like:
Montreal has a large number of players already under contract for next season, with two goaltenders, five of their current NHL defencemen, and 10 forwards signed for at least the next year.
The most pressing need is a contract extension for Alex Galchenyuk, whose two-year bridge deal comes to an end in a few months. The team may also want to sign standout off-season acquisition Alexander Radulov to a new deal after his one-year commitment runs out at the end of the season. On defence, Nathan Beaulieu is headed for restricted free agency, and extending his stay with the club could give them their full complement of regular blue-liners, with Zach Redmond already signed to hold a depth role for the team.
There is a new wrinkle for general managers to work with this season, as the introduction of the Vegas Golden Knights brings about an expansion draft in June, and the potential loss of a roster player. One of the those players shown above could be selected to join the new team in Nevada, throwing a wrench into the plans of Marc Bergevin.
The actual organizational roster teams will have to work with next season won’t be fully known until the nascent franchise has plucked one player from each of the other 30 teams. It will be interesting to see what direction the management group in Las Vegas takes with their team, and what effect that will have on the Canadiens.