The NHL and NHL Players’ Association have set the salary cap for the 2017-18 season.
The league and union announced Sunday the team payroll range for the upcoming season has an upper limit of $75 million with a lower limit of $55.4 million, and an adjusted midpoint of $65.2 million.
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The cap will increase $2 million from the $73 million cap last season, as players elected to use their escalator clause established in the current collective bargaining agreement. The cap floor saw an increase of $1.4 million.
The cap floor is something the NHL’s newest team, the Vegas Golden Knights, must reach when selecting players in Wednesday’s expansion draft.
James Neal (Nashville Predators-$5 million): There are other younger, intriguing options available off the Nashville roster, but Neal is a bona fide goal scorer, and an expansion team needs at least a couple of those on its roster. He is a nine-time 20-goal scorer, and had 23 a year ago. Contenders will be sniffing around to pick him up late in the season as a rental option heading into unrestricted free agency. Other Predators considered: C Colton Sissons, LW Pontus Aberg, C Colin Wilson and C Craig Smith.
Brock Nelson (New York Islanders-$2.5 million): The Islanders protected five defensemen, and reportedly are going to surrender their first-round pick so that Vegas keeps its mitts off Nelson and the other available New York forwards. If true, too bad, because Nelson has scored 20 or more goals in three straight seasons and had a career-high 45 points a year ago. Other Islanders considered: LW Josh Bailey, C Casey Cizikas, C Ryan Strome and D Calvin de Haan.
Luke Bowanko Authentic Jersey David Perron (St. Louis Blues-$3.75 million): Another veteran scoring threat entering the final year of his contract. Perron’s 46 points last year were his most since the 2013-14 season (28-29-57). Other Blues considered: none.