MONTREAL -- Official word has not been released by the NHL, but word here leading up to tonight's amateur draft is that the salary cap figure for 2009-'10 will be $56.8 million, a $100,000 increase over this past season.
The increase, slightly less than two percent, is in line with what league and union officials have been predicting the last 4-6 months. It would have dropped by some $2.5 million had the union elected not to trigger the five percent ''sweetner'', or salary accelerator, that it is entitled to apply each year.
League-wide, the $100,000 increase represents a potential $3 million more available for clubs as they prepare for the start of the season in October.
Most of the league's 30 GMs figure the cap number for 2010-2011 will drop, perhaps by $5 million, given the ongoing economic woes throughout North America.
The Bruins have committed some $50 million in salaries for the upcoming season.