You can thank the Vegas Golden Knights for this.
That's sort of a joke. But not really.
The NHL's 31st club has injected life into the league and during its run to the Stanley Cup Final. Las Vegas has become a model for other clubs from game presentation to roster construction, but that's for another story. Financially, other clubs like the Blue Jackets are in the midst of planning for 2018-19 and the salary cap will play a crucial role in what they can or cannot do.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, along with deputy commissioner Bill Daly, spoke prior to Game 1 at T-Mobile Arena on Monday night and provided several updates. With regard to the salary cap, Bettman and Daly confirmed the number is going to rise from its current $75 million USD.
Bill Daly says latest projection for next seasons salary cap is between $78 and $82 million.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) May 28, 2018
The final number will be voted on by the league's Board of Governors later in June, before the opening of free agency.
For the Blue Jackets, this is clearly good news. They have a host of hot-button business items to tackle this summer, a list that includes potential contract extensions for Artemi Panarin (priority No. 1), Sergei Bobrovsky and Zach Werenski.
They currently have slightly more than $13 million in salary cap space entering the silly season, but that could change if the cap increases. The more room, the better for the Blue Jackets as they look to lock down three key pieces to their roster.