The NHL's salary cap is going up again.
Each team will be allowed to spend up to $56.7 million US on player salaries next season, the league and the NHL Players' Association announced Thursday. That's a $6.4-million increase from 2007-08.
The salary "floor" — the minimum each team must spend — will also rise $6.4 million, bringing it up to $40.7 million. The maximum annual salary an individual player can earn in a new contract will be $11.34 million.
The new floor is higher than the $39-million cap the NHL instituted for 2005-06 — the first season following a year-long lockout fuelled partly by the players' initial refusal to accept a cap.
The salary cap rose to $44 million for 2006-07 and to $50.3 million last season.
The NHL's free-agent signing period begins July 1, with Pittsburgh's Marian Hossa, Toronto's Mats Sundin, Ottawa's Wade Redden and Vancouver's Markus Naslund among the high-profile unrestricted free agents.