The salary cap for the National Hockey League (NHL) will remain the same for the next season due to financial losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which will complicate the work of general managers.
At least that’s the opinion of Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland, who believes 20 to 25 teams will need to be creative to improve since they don’t have enough headroom under the ceiling to try. to make big catches in the free agent market.
Complicated with the Oilers
Holland has 16 valid contracts for the 2020-2021 campaign among players who were in the club’s roster in the recent playoffs with around $ 10 million to complete the squad.
The solution could therefore come from within.
“Part of the improvement will happen internally,” he said in an interview with The Athletic on Saturday. Everyone is looking outside.
“Well, we have a hard cap. Will I try to do some transactions? Yes. I’ll pick up the phone and see what we can do to be a little better.
“But part of our improvement has to be this: Can Ethan Bear come back and continue like he did last year?” Can Caleb Jones do this? Can Kailer Yamamoto do this? Are there young people who are going to come in and push? ”
“The 2020-2021 Oilers won’t be hinged on just whether to trade big or spend in the marketplace. We don’t have a ton of space under the ceiling. Most teams don’t. ”
Prior to the shutdown, Circuit Bettman estimated the cap would climb to between $ 84 and $ 88.2 million.
By the transaction deadline, the DGs had therefore prepared accordingly.
However, many could have great difficulty keeping all their assets.
“If you go there halfway to $ 86 million, there’s a big difference between $ 81.5 million and $ 86 million. He’s a $ 4.5 million a year player.
“I wouldn’t say it affects all teams, but it probably affects 20 to 25 teams.”
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Holland will have to add a goalkeeper to support Mikko Koskinen.
Defenseman Ethan Bear will become a restricted free agent after the playoffs.
“The ceiling is fixed. We are stuck. Many teams are, repeated the GM. What does it mean? I don’t think anyone knows.
“Rather than quickly signing five of our players and saying, ‘well, we’re done’, I’d rather have as much flexibility as possible in a month.”
“I just need to take a little time to assess and make sure it’s in the best interests of our team,” he concluded.