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With less salary-cap space than expected, NHL teams shift focus from draft to free agents

Sunday, 06.29.2014 / 3:15 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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With less salary-cap space than expected, NHL teams shift focus from draft to free agents

PHILADELPHIA - NHL teams are about to go shopping, and they will have less money to spend than they might have thought just a few days ago.

After a weekend in which 210 players were drafted, clubs will have more decisions to make, and they don't have lots of time to do it. Free agency begins in earnest Tuesday, and any needs that weren't addressed during the two-day draft — either in picks or trades — will have to be taken care of on the open market.

The ceiling for next season's salary cap was set Friday at $69 million — up from $64.3 million. That number is a million or two lower than some projections had it after a year of record revenues.

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For our team, as a group, we've never been this far before, and so it's just more lessons learned, and sometimes you have to go to the school of hard knocks to find out what works and what doesn't. We've got a young group. They've played some unreal hockey here to get us this far, and we showed if we're not going to play the proper way, a really, really good hockey team is going to beat you, and that's what they did. It's a lesson learned.

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