NHL salary cap set at $73M for 2016-17 season
Players use escalator clause to help with $1.6M increase
The salary cap for the 2016-17 NHL season will be $73 million, up from $71.4 million.
The league and NHL Players' Association announced the cap number Tuesday night.
The cap floor, or the minimum amount a team can spend, is $54 million. It was $52.8 million last season.
Players elected to use their 5 per cent escalator clause to help increase the salary cap $1.6 million.
The Canadian dollar was one reason why league revenues sagged, preventing a larger cap increase.
The draft begins Friday in Buffalo, New York. Free agency opens July 1 at noon, though teams can talk to players beginning Saturday.
General managers have said they're waiting on the cap number to make decisions with their own potential free agents.