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GMs learn salary cap, expected to discuss OT format

NHL.com @NHL

LAS VEGAS -- The NHL's general managers open a busy 48-hour window here with their annual end-of-season meeting Tuesday afternoon.

This is the first time the general managers will meet in Las Vegas. Generally this meeting takes place during the Stanley Cup Final, in one of the participating cities.

The managers learned the upper limit of the salary cap for the 2015-16 season will be $71.4 million, with the lower limit $52.8 million.

With the ceiling set, the managers can begin the process of getting their rosters cap-compliant for the upcoming season. Several teams are expected to have to shed some salary and that process will likely begin at these meetings as teams discuss potential trades, which could be consummated before the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Fla., this weekend or after the start of free agency on July 1.

"Everybody's sort of trying to get a real good solid view of the landscape ahead of each and every one of us heading into the draft," said Don Sweeney, the new general manager of the Boston Bruins.

There will be an update Tuesday on the work being done by the competition committee on a new overtime format. The discussion about the look of that format will continue after the committee asked for more time to discuss the issue. The managers proposed a form of 3-on-3 overtime at their last meeting in March.

Currently, the League goes to a five-minute period of 4-on-4 overtime if a game is tied after regulation. If the game remains tied, it goes to a shootout. The GMs want to introduce 3-on-3 play, either at the start of the overtime session or at some point within the overtime period. The American Hockey League instituted a 3-on-3 overtime, which began if the game remained tied after the first whistle past the three-minute mark of overtime.

"The consensus in the room, overwhelmingly, is we're not getting rid of the shootout. It was, how do you reduce the number of games that go to the shootout, keep the shootout special?" Commissioner Bettman said at the meeting in March.

The managers will further discuss the concept of a coach's challenge, which was recommended at the last meeting. Under that proposal, coaches would be able to challenge a limited scope of decisions by the officials, and only if they still own the one timeout each team is given per game.

The managers will also be briefed on other topics, including an update from the Department of Player Safety and officiating.

On Wednesday, the Board of Governors will meet here as well.

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