NHL salary cap set at $73M for 2016-17 season

The salary cap for the 2016-17 NHL season will be $73 million US, up from $71.4 million.

Players use escalator clause to help with $1.6M increase

Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos, the top free agent available, will be able to command a few more dollars as the NHL's salary cap increased by $1.6 million to $73 million (all figures US). (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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.

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General managers have said they're waiting on the cap number to make decisions with their own potential free agents.