Despite the tough economy, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said he expected the salary cap to go up another $2 million _ or to almost $59 million next season.
The cap ($56.8 million for the 2009-10 season) is figured after each season on a complicated formula, and for it to go up $2 million means that the league is doing pretty well. The strength of the Canadian dollar is playing a big role in the rise.
The Stars spent about $45.5 million on their payroll last season and had a cap hit of almost $50 million. They have about 17 players under contract (give or take a two-way contract) for next season at about $40 million. That does not include Mike Modano, Jere Lehtinen, Krys Barch, James Neal, Nicklas Grossman, Matt Niskanen or Fabian Brunnstrom.
NHL rosters are usually 22 or 23 players.
Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk said that until the new ownership situation is resolved, the team is planning to operate on a budget near $45 million again next season.
Bettman addressed the media in his state-of-the-union address at the Stanley Cup Final in Chicago today.