The $71.4M salary cap and how it affects the Kings - LA Kings Insider

THE DAY HAS ARRIVED. After months of outside speculation and educated pinpointing, the NHL and NHLPA jointly announced on Tuesday that the 2015-16 salary ceiling has been set at $71.4 million. This is a $2.4 million increase over the 2014-15 salary cap.

The lower limit of the “Team Payroll Range” is $52.8 million, and the adjusted midpoint is $62.1 million.

On the spectrum of where the salary cap was expected to land, this is not quite as high as the figure that had been theorized roughly a year and a half ago, but significantly higher than some fall and winter estimates that, given the data available at the time, predicted a much smaller raise, or perhaps even no raise at all.

Factors that kept salary cap estimates relatively low included a weakened Canadian dollar and whether or not the players would choose to exercise the five percent escalator on the cap (they ultimately did).

For the Kings – and other teams near the cap ceiling – this is modestly good news, given that it was possible that the cap might not reach $71 million. Los Angeles has roughly $64.15 million allotted to 17 players for the 2015-16 season, a figure that includes both Mike Richards’ and Slava Voynov’s contracts (The Kings would have roughly $59.98M spent on 16 players if Voynov’s contract is not included).

A theoretical Richards buy-out would also affect Los Angeles’ flexibility; while the Kings would save roughly $4.53 million this season should they choose to buy out his contract, they would get less relief in coming years, especially in 2018-19 and 2019-20. Click here for the financial implications of a Richards buyout. A trade is also possible, though there is not a highly competitive market for his services at this time, per sources.

After the team comes to terms with goaltender Martin Jones, as is expected to happen relatively soon, the Kings will set clearer sights on fellow restricted free agent Tyler Toffoli, and, should an agreement be reached expeditiously, unrestricted free agent defenseman Andrej Sekera. Despite the $2.4 million increase in the salary cap, the idea of unrestricted free agents Justin Williams or Jarret Stoll resigning with the Kings remains unlikely.

Among the club’s restricted free agents are forwards Nick Shore, Andy Andreoff, Nic Dowd and Jordan Weal.

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.