NHL Salary Cap By Team

2021-2022 NHL Salary Cap Space

NHL Salary Cap Limit: $81,500,000
NHL Salary Cap Floor: $60,240,000
Projected Cap Space
Contracts
Atlantic Division
Team Projected Cap Hit Projected Cap Space Active Roster Playoff %
Boston Bruins logo Boston Bruins $80,614,166 $885,834 24/23 100.0%
Buffalo Sabres logo Buffalo Sabres $55,458,333 $26,041,667 23/23 0.0%
Detroit Red Wings logo Detroit Red Wings $55,722,223 $25,777,777 19/23 0.0%
Florida Panthers logo Florida Panthers $72,921,629 $8,578,371 23/23 100.0%
Montreal Canadiens logo Montreal Canadiens $83,026,371 $-1,526,371 21/23 100.0%
Ottawa Senators logo Ottawa Senators $51,748,333 $29,751,667 20/23 0.0%
Tampa Bay Lightning logo Tampa Bay Lightning $87,240,955 $-5,740,955 21/23 100.0%
Toronto Maple Leafs logo Toronto Maple Leafs $82,869,783 $-1,369,783 23/23 100.0%
Metropolitan Division
Team Projected Cap Hit Projected Cap Space Active Roster Playoff %
Carolina Hurricanes logo Carolina Hurricanes $70,673,584 $10,826,416 23/23 100.0%
Columbus Blue Jackets logo Columbus Blue Jackets $68,581,696 $12,918,304 23/23 0.0%
New Jersey Devils logo New Jersey Devils $59,346,667 $22,153,333 18/23 0.0%
New York Islanders logo New York Islanders $63,829,188 $17,670,812 17/23 100.0%
New York Rangers logo New York Rangers $66,087,301 $15,412,699 22/23 0.0%
Philadelphia Flyers logo Philadelphia Flyers $70,776,190 $10,723,810 18/23 0.0%
Pittsburgh Penguins logo Pittsburgh Penguins $78,903,205 $2,596,795 21/23 100.0%
Washington Capitals logo Washington Capitals $78,831,261 $2,668,739 20/23 100.0%
Central Division
Team Projected Cap Hit Projected Cap Space Active Roster Playoff %
Arizona Coyotes logo Arizona Coyotes $73,272,783 $8,227,217 22/23 0.0%
Chicago Blackhawks logo Chicago Blackhawks $82,942,543 $-1,442,543 23/23 0.0%
Colorado Avalanche logo Colorado Avalanche $78,728,131 $2,771,869 23/23 100.0%
Dallas Stars logo Dallas Stars $85,572,073 $-4,072,073 24/23 0.0%
Minnesota Wild logo Minnesota Wild $61,785,257 $19,714,743 17/23 100.0%
Nashville Predators logo Nashville Predators $64,524,476 $16,975,524 23/23 100.0%
St. Louis Blues logo St. Louis Blues $75,225,500 $6,274,500 20/23 100.0%
Winnipeg Jets logo Winnipeg Jets $76,157,978 $5,342,022 19/23 100.0%
Pacific Division
Team Projected Cap Hit Projected Cap Space Active Roster Playoff %
Anaheim Ducks logo Anaheim Ducks $66,479,166 $15,020,834 22/23 0.0%
Calgary Flames logo Calgary Flames $69,325,000 $12,175,000 17/23 0.0%
Edmonton Oilers logo Edmonton Oilers $81,920,435 $-420,435 21/23 100.0%
Los Angeles Kings logo Los Angeles Kings $79,633,718 $1,866,283 24/23 0.0%
San Jose Sharks logo San Jose Sharks $76,713,334 $4,786,666 22/23 0.0%
Seattle Kraken logo Seattle Kraken $65,856,667 $15,643,333 20/23 0.0%
Vancouver Canucks logo Vancouver Canucks $67,433,653 $14,066,347 22/23 0.0%
Vegas Golden Knights logo Vegas Golden Knights $81,536,667 $-36,667 21/23 100.0%

What Is the NHL Salary Cap?

The NHL salary cap is the total amount that NHL teams may pay for players. The amount set as the salary cap each year depends on the league’s revenue for the previous season. As it is a 'hard cap,' there are no exemptions. However, if a player is injured and it's thought that they will miss at least 10 NHL games and 24 days in the season, their team can put them on long-term injured reserve (LTIR). By doing so, they can surpass the salary cap.

The salary cap was introduced to prevent teams with the most revenue signing all the top players, which was becoming a problem in the '90s and early 2000s. For instance, by signing a number of top-performing players and significantly spending more than the majority of other teams, the Detroit Red Wings were able to win three Stanley Cups in that time.

This led to the 2004-05 CBA negotiations, during which the entire season was cancelled — the first time a labor dispute has ever caused a cancellation in a major sports league in North America. At the time of the negotiations, teams were spending around 75 percent of their revenues on salaries — much higher than any other North American sports league. Eventually, they agreed to the general structure that remain today, including the mandatory payment to players in US dollars.

The concept of a salary cap is not new to the NHL. One was first introduced during the Great Depression, at which time the salary cap per team was $62,500 and $7,000 per player.

Salary Cap History

Since its reintroduction in the 2005-06 season, the NHL salary cap has risen every year:

  2005-2006 $39.0 million  
  2006-2007 $44.0 million  
  2007-2008 $50.3 million  
  2008-2009 $56.7 million  
  2009-2010 $56.8 million  
  2010-2011 $59.4 million  
  2011-2012 $64.3 million  
  2012-2013 $60.0 million *  
  2013-2014 $64.3 million  
  2014-2015 $69.0 million  
  2015-2016 $71.4 million  
  2016-2017 $73.0 million  
  2017-2018 $75.0 million  
  2018-2019 $79.5 million  
  2019-2020 $81.5 million  
  2020-2021 $81.5 million  

*During the 2012-13 season, there was a lockout. The salary cap was set to $60 million, but NHL hockey teams were allowed to spend a pro-rated $70.2 million for the shortened season.

The salary floor (the minimum that a team must spend as a whole) is 85 percent of the salary midpoint. For the 2019-20 season, the cap floor is $60.24 million.

History of the Teams

Originally, there were just six NHL teams, called the Original Six. In the 1967-68 season, six new teams were added. The Original Six formed the East Division and the new six formed the West Division.

In 1974, six more NHL hockey teams joined the league, creating 18 in total. The league then took four teams from the World Hockey Association when it ceased to exist in 1979. With the Cleveland Barons gone in 1978, this brought the total to 21 teams.

There was no further expansion to the league until the '90s. The next new NHL team was the San Jose Sharks in 1991. Another eight were added in the subsequent decade to reach 30 teams by 2000. Finally, in 2016, Gary Bettman, the NHL commissioner, announced that another new NHL team — the Vegas Golden Knights — would join the List of NHL Teams, making 31 teams for the 2017-18 season.

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