And, no, I'm not talking polar ice caps. Last check on the news, those are still diminishing.
I'm talking NHL salary cap, which will rise to a maximum of $56.7 million this season. That's an increase of $6.4 million. Not too shabby. Here's a few other little numbers:
**The lower limit each NHL team must spend is $40.7 million.
**The most any player can ear in a new contract next season is $11.34 million a year. That's all. That's a shame :)
Anyway, all Stars fans may be asking, what does this mean for my team? Well, chatting with Mr. Les Jackson a few minutes ago, the Stars are going to give themselves a self-imposed cutline, which will sit around the $52 million mark. Jackson wants some flexibility, just in case they want to make a trade at another time.
Long story short: Don't be surprised if this free agency period is a bit quiet. Now if I would've heard that last offseason, I would've been scratching my little head. But as it stands right now, I don't think it's such a bad idea. Think about it, folks: We're no longer talking about a first-round-and-out team. We're talking about a group that had a sweet little run to the Western Conference Finals and will come back just needing a tweak here or there. Not a bad deal, eh? Still, if there's something out there affordable, a nice little wing-ding that isn't too pricey, the Stars could bite.