An announcement today indicated that the NHL plans to go forward with a salary-cap ceiling of $70.2 million and a salary-cap floor of $54.2 million for the 2012-13 season. For now. This can be altered — meaning, in all likelihood, lowered — if the owners and players decide so, during their upcoming collective-bargaining talks, but no matter what, the Kings are in a good position.
As noted earlier, in this post, the Kings, right now, could easily put together a 23-man roster for just under $60 million. (Keep in mind that Jonathan Quick’s impending new contract won’t kick in until 2013-14.) The bigger issue for the Kings, and every team, is the years beyond. In 2013-14, the Kings now have almost $43 million committed to only 11 players, and again, that doesn’t include Quick. If the owners and players decide to bring down the cap, though, there’s also a chance that they might cut player salaries across the board, which would level the playing field. The Kings, in 2013-14 and in the two following years, already have four players making in excess of $5 million (Doughty, Kopitar, Richards and Carter) and Quick will soon be a fifth. That makes it harder to maintain financial flexibility, and that will be Dean Lombardi’s challenge going forward, independent of what the new CBA brings.