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Slight Increase In Cap Ceiling Offers Little Flexibility For Oilers Down The Road

Tiny increase before The Real Fun™ begins in 2018-19

Edmonton Oilers v Anaheim Ducks - Game Two
Slight expenses
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

After much ado about the cap remaining flat, the NHL’s salary cap will increase by two million dollars in 2017-18.

The Oilers (and every other NHL team) will be permitted to accrue cap hits up to and including 75 million dollars in 2017-18, and there’s every reason to believe that the Oilers are hoping for a bigger cap bounce in 2018-19. There’s a fair shot that the combination of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl could equal twenty million a season after Draisaitl’s new deal begins in 2017-18 and McDavid’s begins the following year.


The Oilers will be OK for 2017-18 when it comes to the cap. They can afford to take on a short term deal for a player without disruption to the current lineup. The real fun begins next year.

The Oilers will need to move substantial salary between now and the beginning of 2018-19. Jordan Eberle (6MM AAV), two more years) looked like he could have been on the move prior to this weekend’s expansion draft roster freeze. Less likely to move is centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (6MM AAV, three more years). Strictly from a salary standpoint, the best thing for the Oilers to happen is for Benoit Pouliot (4MM AAV, two more years) to be selected by the Vegas Golden Knights this week in the expansion draft. There’s a crapshoot that the Oilers could buy Pouliot’s deal out if he’s not moved in order to free up a little bit of space.

The cap floor will be set at 55.4 million.