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NHL salary cap will be $79.5 million next season

Increase of $4.5 million from this season

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

LAS VEGAS -- The NHL salary cap for the 2018-19 season will be $79.5 million, the League and the NHL Players' Association said Thursday.

The salary cap for the 2017-18 season was $75 million, up from $73 million in 2016-17.

The lower limit for next season is $58.8 million and the adjusted midpoint is $69.15 million.

Commissioner Gary Bettman said the NHL is projecting the final escrow taken out of the players' contracts for the 2017-18 season to be 8 percent, which would be the lowest under the collective bargaining agreement that was implemented prior to the 2012-13 season.

The players had 11.5 percent of their salaries withheld from their contracts to account for the escrow this season.

The NHL and NHLPA withhold a percentage of player salaries, or escrow, during the season as a mechanism to ensure teams and players achieve a 50-50 split of hockey related revenue, per the rules set in the CBA.

"A large part of our thinking is we want a [salary cap] number that keeps the escrow down," Commissioner Bettman said. "We think by only having a more modest increase last season it was instrumental in keeping the escrow down to what we project will be about 8 percent, which will have been the lowest in years. The amount of the escrow is simply a function of how high the cap is. Higher the cap, higher the escrow. There is no magic to that."

Escrow has been a flashpoint for players in recent seasons, which is why the NHL is attempting to keep it as low as possible while also following the guidelines of the CBA.

Commissioner Bettman said the League is projecting revenue growth to be between 7 percent and 8.5 percent from last season to this season.

"We're having healthy growth," Commissioner Bettman said.

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