Each year, all 32 NHL owners, along with league commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daley meet for two days to discuss various topics, such as salary-cap growth and advertising, to gameplay and replay.
Let’s dive in.
What’s the Latest on Salary Cap Growth?
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NHL’s salary cap did not rise, staying at $81.5 million from 2020-22. This season, we saw an increase of $1 million to $82.5 million, and the expectation is that it will rise by $1 million again for the 2023-24 season to $82.5 million.
It’s a complex issue right now, as players were still paid their salaries despite the NHL losing significant money during the pandemic. In agreement with the NHLPA, the NHL decided that the players’ debt could be paid off over time, with the possibility of there being no debt by the 2023-24 season.
Per NHL.com’s Dan Rosen, “If the escrow debt is not repaid by the end of this season, the salary cap would rise $1 million next season and instead increase significantly for the 2024-25 season.
How much of an increase?
Bettman shared that the cap could rise by $4 million if that escrow debt is paid off. That would mean the 2023-24 salary cap could be as high as $86.5 million. But as of right now, it seems we will only see a rise by a million per Bettman on day two of the meetings.
We will have to wait until the season’s end to determine the final revenue number.
NHL’s Hockey Respect Program Update?
In December of 2021, NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Social Impact, Growth Initiatives, and Legislative Affairs, Kim Davis, has been working hard to help make sure hockey is a safe environment for all walks of life.
The NHL has also partnered with the Respect Group, an anti-harassment organization co-founded by former NHL Player Sheldon Kennedy.
The NHL and the NHLPA continue to work on a workplace curriculum […] They have essentially agreed and are continuing to work on the training aspect of it,” Darren Dreger said.
From Sportsnet’s Eric Engels: “Executive VP of the NHL Kim Davis says all Canadian teams have completed respect in the workplace training and that 68 percent of American teams have done it. It will be 100 percent complete by Dec. 31, 2022.”
Over the last few seasons, the NHL has gone heavily into the advertisement game. Player jerseys not have small advertisements as well as player helmets. This season we have seen a different kind of ad garner negative attention.
If you are watching the games from home, there have been stationary digital ads behind the netminders on the glass.
This season, the board advertisements on the television broadcasts are different than what’s actually along the boards in person. Not only that, but those ads change throughout the game, which has become a distraction for many.
And when we say during the game, it’s not a change each period. It’s during play.
Bettman spoke about the concern but said that it actually wasn’t an issue at all.
“Bettman says that digital dasherboard ad backlash is a “non-issue” because their polling indicates fans find games more watchable with those digital ads replacing physical ones,” ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski said.
We assume he polled people who either do not watch the games or those who attend the games because it’s clearly an issue.
Latest on Senators Sale?
With the passing of longtime Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melynk last March, the team needs an owner.
The initial rumors were that Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds was one of the parties interested in buying the Senators. In his appearance on the Jimmy Fallow show not too long ago, he said that the rumors were true, but he would need partners with big pockets to get the job done.
If Reynolds becomes a part owner, we expect Deadpool alternate jerseys…immediately.
Daley stated, as reported by Engles, that there is significant interest in the Senators and that the sale of the team should be a healthy process.
The rule of the sale is that whoever does buy the Senators may not relocate the team from Ottawa.