The NHL Board of Governors met in Seattle, Washington, the last two days to discuss a variety of items, most notably the 2024 NHL Draft and the 2024-25 salary cap.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that the League is finalizing plans to host the NHL Draft at the Las Vegas Sphere in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 28-29 in 2024. I’m really curious how much this cost the NHL to secure an event at the Sphere. It couldn’t have been cheap, but it’ll likely be a pretty neat event.
As reported by TSN’s Darren Dreger, the 2023 draft is likely to be the final centralized one before the league seeks to save money and time in organizing an event like a centralized location, so I suppose it’s only right to go out with a bang.
The NHL Draft will be held June 28/29 at the Sphere in Las Vegas. NHL Board just made it official. This will be the final draft before decentralizing.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) December 5, 2023
The specifics of what a decentralized NHL Draft would look like are still not clear, but it’s very disappointing news to many hockey fans. It’s understandable to acknowledge the difficulties for front offices to get back to their home bases for the July 1 free agent frenzy, but having the hockey world centered upon a single city for an entire weekend is a textbook way to grow the game.
The 2003 NHL Draft in Nashville was my first exposure to the event, and I still look back fondly on the experiences I had over the course of those few days. One can hope the NHL seeks to make a decentralized draft — in whatever form that may be — an enjoyable and engaging fan experience.
On Tuesday, the NHL also announced projected hockey related revenue (HRR). If you recall, HRR is what determines the salary cap for each season and the 50/50 revenue split between owners and players.
The NHL updated governors today on the latest revenue projections for the season and as expected, the league told owners the salary cap for next season is projected to be around $87.7 million— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 5, 2023
The projected HRR is $6.2 billion with a correlating 5% salary cap raise from $83.5 million to $87.675 million. The $87.7 million in many posts is likely a rounding error here as the 2020 Memorandum of Understanding between the NHL and the NHLPA states that there cannot be an increase of more than 5% year-over-year without an additional agreement between the parties. It would be nice to see a higher salary cap for the league, but a large increase is highly unlikely.
Nashville Hockey Now
Both Nashville Predators 2023 first-round picks, Matthew Wood (No. 15) and Tanner Molendyk (No. 24) have been invited to Hockey Canada’s selection camp for the 2024 World Junior Hockey Championships.
Elliotte Friedman broke the news that the Predators would scratch Tyson Barrie on Saturday against the New York Rangers, and the player was free to seek trade opportunities, so where are some spots Barrie could land if a trade were to happen?
General manager Barry Trotz was not pleased on Tuesday evening during his radio appearance on 102.5 The Game, expressing his frustration with how the news got out via Friedman about Barrie being granted permission to seek a trade. The situation has shown us that teams and agents will use any and all leverage they have on behalf of their team or client.
Central Division standings
- Colorado Avalanche — 16-7-2, 34 points
- Dallas Stars — 14-6-3, 31 points
- Winnipeg Jets — 14-8-2, 30 points
- Arizona Coyotes — 13-9-2, 28 points
- St. Louis Blues — 13-10-1, 27 points
- Nashville Predators — 13-12-0, 26 points
- Minnesota Wild — 9-10-4, 22 points
- Chicago Blackhawks — 7-1-1, 15 points
Around the NHL and National Hockey Now
Colorado Hockey Now: The Colorado Avalanche continue their strong play and remain at the top of the Central Division standings following their 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks, but young defenseman Bowen Byram did leave the game early with an upper body injury.
Detroit Hockey Now: The Detroit Red Wings keep winning, and captain Dylan Larkin is a big part of that success. Despite recent personal hardships, Larkin is the epitome of a leader. The Red Wings are benefitting from his leadership.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Pittsburgh Penguins continue to struggle, especially on the power play, so what gives?
San Jose Hockey Now: The San Jose Sharks have had a roller coaster season as they are obviously in rebuild mode, but the team found the positives in their 5-4 comeback win in OT over the New York Isalnders.
Follow Clay Brewer on Twitter/X: @ClayBrewer10