It appears the NHL will be announcing next year's salary cap figure, and since the NHLPA has voted in favour of applying its five per cent inflator option the cap will remain stable or even rise slightly.
I'm not sure if this news will really have an impact in what goes down today because teams are still worrying about next year's cap figure which is sure to plummet and, in the case of many clubs, their own internal budgets for player salaries.
As far as the Habs are concerned, it means Bob Gainey has roughly $33 million to spend on the club's restricted free agents (Higgins, Plekanec and Latendresse) plus five or six more players, as he put it Thursday. Assuming the three RFAs sign for an average of $2.5 million each, that would leave Gainey about $26 million for those five or six players, or $4 to $5 million per player.
While Pierre Boivin said the Habs intend to spend to the cap this year, Gainey also mentioned not wanting to burn all his options right off the bat like when he signed Sergei Samsonov and missed out on Jean-Pierre Dumont. So realistically, Gainey will likely shoot to spend about $30 million, leaving him with a $3.5 million cushion to work with.