The National Hockey League (NHL) is one of the most popular and competitive sports leagues in the world, with 32 teams vying for the coveted Stanley Cup every year. The NHL operates under a salary cap system, which means that each team has a limit on how much they can spend on player salaries. The salary cap is determined by the league’s revenue and is adjusted annually based on various factors.
In this article, we will provide you with everything you need to know about the NHL salary cap for the 2023-24 season, including:
- The official salary cap amount and how it compares to previous seasons
- The upcoming schedule and how to buy tickets for the games
- The highest paid players in the league and their contracts
- The most asked questions and answers about the salary cap
NHL Salary Cap for 2023-24 Per Team
The NHL salary cap for the 2023-24 season will be $83.5 million, the league and the NHL Players’ Association announced on June 28, 2023. The lower limit, or the minimum amount that each team must spend on player salaries, will be $61.7 million.
The salary cap increased by $1 million from the previous season, when it was $82.5 million. This was the first increase since the 2019-20 season, when the salary cap was $81.5 million. The salary cap remained flat for three seasons due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the league’s revenue.
The salary cap is expected to rise by approximately $4 million for the 2024-25 season, as the players will have paid off their escrow debt by then. The escrow debt was incurred in 2019-20, when the season was paused due to the pandemic and the players received more than their 50% share of hockey-related revenue as per the collective bargaining agreement. The debt was spread out over several years to avoid a drastic reduction in player salaries.
Upcoming NHL Schedule for 2023-24
The NHL schedule for the 2023-24 season will be released in mid-July 2023, after the completion of the expansion draft for the Seattle Kraken, the league’s newest franchise. The regular season will begin in early October 2023 and end in early April 2024, with each team playing 82 games (41 home and 41 away).
The playoffs will begin in mid-April 2024 and end in early June 2024, with 16 teams qualifying for the postseason (eight from each conference). The playoffs will consist of four rounds of best-of-seven series, with the winners of each conference meeting in the Stanley Cup Final.
Some of the highlights of the schedule will include:
- The Winter Classic on January 1, 2024, featuring the Chicago Blackhawks and the Nashville Predators at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.
- The All-Star Game on January 28, 2024, hosted by the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena in Glendale
- The Stadium Series on February 17, 2024, featuring the Colorado Avalanche and the Minnesota Wild at Target Field in Minneapolis
- The Olympic break from February 9 to February 25, 2024, allowing NHL players to participate in the Winter Olympics in Beijing, China
How to Buy Tickets for NHL Games?
If you want to watch your favorite NHL team live in action, you will need to buy tickets for their games. There are several ways to buy tickets for NHL games, depending on your preference and budget.
One of the easiest and most convenient ways to buy tickets is through NHL.com, the official website of the league . You can browse through the schedule of all teams and select the game you want to attend. You can also filter by date, location, opponent, price range, and seating section. You can then purchase your tickets online using a credit card or PayPal account. You can choose to receive your tickets electronically via email or mobile app, or have them mailed or delivered to you.
Another option is to buy tickets through secondary marketplaces, such as StubHub, SeatGeek, Ticketmaster Resale, or Vivid Seats . These are websites that allow fans to buy and sell tickets from other fans or brokers. You can often find cheaper or better seats than those available on NHL.com, especially for high-demand games or sold-out events. However, you should also be aware of the risks of buying tickets from unauthorized sources, such as fraud, scams, or counterfeit tickets. You should always check the reputation and reviews of the seller, and use a secure payment method that offers buyer protection.
A third option is to buy tickets through local outlets, such as box offices, ticket offices, or authorized retailers . These are physical locations where you can buy tickets in person, usually at face value or with minimal fees. You can also avoid online service charges or delivery costs by buying tickets this way. However, you may have to deal with long lines, limited availability, or inconvenient hours of operation.
Highest Paid Players in the NHL
The NHL is home to some of the most talented and well-paid athletes in the world. The highest paid players in the league are determined by their average annual value (AAV), which is the amount of money they earn per year on their contract. The AAV does not include bonuses, incentives, or endorsements.
The 10 highest paid players in the NHL for the 2023-24 season are:
|1||Nathan MacKinnon||Colorado Avalanche||Center||$12.5 million|
|2||Connor McDavid||Edmonton Oilers||Center||$12.5 million|
|3||Auston Matthews||Toronto Maple Leafs||Center||$11.6 million|
|4||Artemi Panarin||New York Rangers||Left Wing||$11.6 million|
|5||Erik Karlsson||San Jose Sharks||Defenseman||$11.5 million|
|6||John Tavares||Toronto Maple Leafs||Center||$11 million|
|7||Carey Price||Montreal Canadiens||Goalie||$10.5 million|
|8||Andrei Vasilevskiy||Tampa Bay Lightning||Goalie||$9.5 million|
|9||Drew Doughty||Los Angeles Kings||Defenseman||$11 million|
|10||Anze Kopitar||Los Angeles Kings||Center||$10 million|
Frequently Asked Questions about the NHL Salary Cap
Here are some of the most asked questions and answers about the NHL salary cap:
Q: What is a salary cap?
A: A salary cap is a limit on how much money a team can spend on player salaries in a given season. The purpose of a salary cap is to create competitive balance among teams, prevent overspending, and ensure financial stability for the league and its players.
Q: How is the salary cap calculated?
A: The salary cap is calculated based on the league’s hockey-related revenue (HRR), which includes income from ticket sales, broadcasting rights, merchandise sales, sponsorships, and other sources. The salary cap is set at 50% of the HRR, divided by the number of teams in the league. The salary cap can also be adjusted by factors such as escrow payments, performance bonuses, or currency fluctuations.
Q: What is escrow?
A: Escrow is a system that ensures that the players and the owners each receive their agreed-upon share of the HRR (50%). At the beginning of each season, a percentage of each player’s salary is withheld and placed in an escrow account. At the end of the season, the HRR is audited and compared to the projected amount. If the actual HRR is higher than expected, the players receive some or all of their escrow money back. If the actual HRR is lower than expected, some or all of their escrow money is used to pay back the owners.
Q: What is a performance bonus?
A: A performance bonus is an additional amount of money that a player can earn on top of his base salary if he meets certain criteria, such as goals scored, games played, or awards won. Performance bonuses are usually given to young players on entry-level contracts or veteran players on incentive-laden contracts. Performance bonuses count against the salary cap, but they can be deferred to the following season if they exceed a certain threshold (7.5% of the upper limit).
Q: What is a buyout?
A: A buyout is a process that allows a team to terminate a player’s contract before it expires, in exchange for paying him a portion of his remaining salary over a longer period of time. A buyout can free up some cap space for a team, but it also comes with a cap penalty that varies depending on the player’s age and contract length. A team can only buy.