NHL salary cap rising by $6.4M

The NHL's salary cap will be set at $56.7 million US next season, a $6.4-million increase from 2007-08, the league and its players' announced Thursday.

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.

With files from the Canadian Press