The National Hockey League's salary cap has always been a challenge to manage for teams around the league, but never has that been more true than over the course of the last several pandemic-influenced NHL seasons.
As a result of the challenges presented by the pandemic, teams have been forced to deal with a flat salary cap for several seasons now. This has resulted in teams having to give up assets to unload bad contracts and in some cases has even resulted in teams being forced to watch core players leave in free agency due to a lack of money to re-sign those players.
The NHL salary cap ceiling for the upcoming 2022 - 2023 season will be $82.5 million, a move that represents an increase of $1 million from last season's cap ceiling of $81.5 million. That should represent a significant amount of cap relief for several of the National Hockey League's cap-strapped franchise, but that won't be the case for everyone.
The NHL has now announced the cap overages for the upcoming 2022 - 2023 season and a whopping 14 teams will have to deal with limited cap space next season as a result of these overages. Overages can occur when cap teams see players on their rosters hit certain performance bonuses that push them over the salary cap, forcing those bonuses to be counted against the cap the following season.
Here are the 14 teams that were impacted by overages this season, and exactly how much their particular overage will count for against this next season's salary cap as per NHL insider Elliotte Friedman's most recent 32 Thoughts. The teams are listed in descending order, from the highest overage for next season to the lowest.
Vancouver: $1.25 million
St. Louis: $1.1 million
Florida and Los Angeles: $637,500
These may not seem like big numbers, especially in the case of the Colorado Avalanche but, when you consider that all of these teams were already tight against the cap, they all represent significant obstacles that the general managers of these respective franchises will have to navigate.