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NHL salary cap bumps up to $50.3 million

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
NEW YORK (AP) -- The NHL salary cap will rise to $50.3 million per team next season, an increase of $6.3 million from last season, the league and players union announced Friday.

It's the second increase under the collective bargaining agreement that ended the yearlong lockout in 2005.

The key issue in the lockout that forced the cancellation of the 2004-05 season was the owners' insistence to include a salary cap and the players association's unwillingness to accept it. The union finally gave in, and has had a financial windfall.

Teams don't have to spend up to the ceiling, but each club's payroll must be at least $34.3 million. The range from top to bottom is always $16 million.

The first season following the lost year featured a cap of $39 million, and that figure rose to $44 million for the 2006-07 season.

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