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Future NHL free agents will cash in thanks to new TV deal

Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban might be one to benefit as a pending free agent thanks to...

Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban might be one to benefit as a pending free agent thanks to the NHL's new deal with Rogers. (PIERRE-PAUL POULIN/QMI Agency)

Chris Stevenson, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:30 PM ET

One of the interesting things to consider coming out of this week’s NHL board of governors meetings is how the rapidly-rising salary cap is going to affect the decisions of impending free agents.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman advised the owners and managers in attendance the cap could rise almost 12 percent for next season from the current $64.3 million to the neighbourhood of $71 million.

Keep in mind, Bettman said, those are estimates based on estimates.

There’s no question the cap is on a rocket ship right now.

The cap for the 2015-16 season will be the first that will feel the full effects of the 12-year, $5.2-billion TV rights deal signed with Rogers Communications. So who knows where that will take it?

Now, not every team is going to spend to the cap, but this season it’s expected about half will get to the upper limit by the end of the season. If half get there next year, that’s a boost of about $100 million in the existing pot that’s going to be floating around, waiting to be stuffed into the pockets of the most coveted free agents.


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