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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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This is a great day for me. This is something I've been thinking about for a long time. This is a great opportunity that the St. Louis Blues organization, (owner) Tom Stillman and Doug Armstrong are giving me and trusting me in doing...This is going to be a great challenge for me.

— Martin Brodeur, after announcing his retirement as an NHL player and becoming a senior adviser with the Blues on Thursday