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Bettman: Salary-cap projection for '15-16 around $73M

by Corey Masisak / NHL.com

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told representatives from the 30 teams Monday an initial projection for the salary cap during the 2015-16 season is about $73 million.

Speaking at the annual December meeting for the Board of Governors, Commissioner Bettman provided the League's early look at what the 2015-16 salary cap should be, contingent on a couple of key factors.

"I went over a series of projections, preliminary, preliminary projections," Bettman said. “Estimates that are not carved in stone, but our best guess based on the information available making lots of lots of assumptions on things like revenue growth in the year and perhaps, as significantly, what may happen with the Canadian dollar. Our best guess, and it's got some variation in it, that if the Canadian dollar stays where it is now for the rest of the season, which is about 88 cents, the cap for next season would be approximately $73 million.

"It's just a guess and it is subject to variation."

The NHL's salary cap for the 2014-15 season is $69 million, and the floor is $51 million. According to capgeek.com, 14 teams are currently projected to be within $2 million of the cap ceiling this season and 25 teams are projected to be above the midpoint of $60 million.

"Here we are in [December] and we have the Canadian dollar fluctuating so much, you sort of look at it, digest it, talk about it when you get home with your people, your general manager, your cap people," Columbus Blue Jackets president John Davidson said. "It's nothing out of the ordinary."

Said Brendan Shanahan, the Toronto Maple Leafs president: "At this point, it is all projections. You prepare, and you continue to prepare, for a variety of assumptions. You make plans and you have contingency plans. I don't think anything that was said in there really shocked any of the 30 clubs."

Bettman also provided an update on the proposed sale of a majority stake in the Arizona Coyotes franchise to Andrew Barroway. The sale, which is contingent on approval by the Board of Governors, would be a 51 percent share of the Coyotes.

"[The sale] is still tracking," Bettman said. "We got documents at the end of last week. There is a process we need to go through in terms of our franchise ownership transfer procedure and that process is ongoing and on track, but it isn't done. That is the only reason there wasn't a vote. We weren't ready our standpoint in terms of the process that we need to go through."

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