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05-05-2009, 07:53 PM
RangerBoy's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: New York
Country: United States
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Because of the economic recession, it's quite possible the NHL salary cap could drop from more than $56 million to around $52 million by the summer of 2010.

In a recent meeting with the Associated Press Sports Editors, NHL commisioner Gary Bettman called that speculation because nobody knows for sure what to expect in terms of ticket sales and attendance next season. But Bettman admitted, "That is certainly a possibility. From our standpoint, we can all take comfort in the fact that our system is self-correcting. As revenues go up, the players share in it. If revenues go down, because we have a hard cap and escrow refund, we can't overpay based on the percentage we pay the players. It goes from 54 percent to 57 percent, depending on where the revenues are, but if revenues decline, then, player costs decline in direct proportion to that. So, there is a self-correcting element.

"That goes to a more profound question, if you're running a team, in terms of: 'What contractual commitments have I made, and how much cap space will I have.' That's an operational issue in terms of how teams plan. I have always said that, if I were operating a team, I would opt for shorter-term contracts to have flexibility. Some of the long-term contracts will turn out to be great; some may not. Time will tell. But the more of those contracts you have, the less flexibility you may have as the cap comes down. That's why I think it might be a concern to some general managers."
Obviously, the Islanders have concerns about the remaining 12 years of injured goaltender Rick DiPietro's contract because of uncertainty about the health issues that limited him to five games last season. But DiPietro's annual salary of $4.5 million still leaves them plenty of flexibility. Other teams are locked in at higher prices for star players and might have to shed salary over this summer and next summer to position themselves to get under the cap.

That should provide Snow with an opportunity to pluck a quality player or two down the road in trade or by a free-agent signing

$52 million in 10-11 wouldn't be that big of a hardship

Are the Islanders one of the three teams on Gomez's NTC?

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