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The (Salary) Cap’s The Limit

Unimpressive cap ceiling of 81.5MM puts the squeeze on an already tight situation for the Oilers

2019 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

83 million? 84? Nah, dial it down a bit.

The 2019-20 NHL Salary Cap is a fit and trim 81.5 million clams. That’s a lot of dough, but it holds somewhat disappointing increase from 2018-19. Last year’s number (79.5MM) is just two million less than the 2019-20 season, and it doesn’t allow for very much wiggle room if you’re a team like, oh, say, the Oilers.

Capfriendly says that the Oilers have about 8.3 million in cap space remaining for the 2019-20 NHL season. That number includes 9 NHL forwards, 8 NHL defencemen and Mikko Koskinen. In other words, they’re going to have to sign, re-sign or promote five additional players with about $2.50 in their wallet. The club can go over the cap by 10% during the offseason, but they’re going to have to regulate that once the season begins. It’s absolutely not an enviable position for the club to be in, and they’ll almost certainly be forced to move a deal or two if they plan on dipping their toes into the free agent pool. There’s some debate as to who can be moved, but Kris Russell or Matt Benning are probably two names that the Oilers could start with.

Best case scenario? The Canucks hire Peter Chiarelli.