Toronto Maple Leafs: Impact of proposed salary cap for 2019-20

General manager Kyle Dubas of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
General manager Kyle Dubas of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The NHL salary cap is set to increase to roughly $83 million (US) for next season, but how will this impact the Toronto Maple Leafs specifically?

It’s a good time to be a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, but potential issues are brewing, courtesy of their salary cap situation combined with several key player negotiations. At least they now have a slightly better idea of how to navigate the pending situation.

As reported by Sportsnet, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman advised on Tuesday, that he is expecting the salary cap for the 2019-20 campaign to be roughly $83 million (US). This would represent an increase of $3.5 million from this season’s figure of $79.5 million.

Interestingly, the proposed increase is actually less than the previous one, when the cap rose by $4.5 million between 2017-18 and this season. A lower increase is actually something Bettman prefers, at least according to what he said last December:

"“My preference is to keep the cap as low as possible because then the escrow is low. We’re projecting from our standpoint that the final escrow when it’s settled out and we disperse it will be a single-digit escrow from player salaries for last season.”"

More from Toronto Maple Leafs

Understandably, of more concern to Leafs fans, is how the proposed salary cap increase impacts their team. Taking into account the new figure of $83 million, as per Cap Friendly, the Leafs’ projected cap space for next season is just over $26.7 million.

As we’ve previously written, Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner are essentially guaranteed new deals in the summer. The thinking is that they will combine for somewhere between $18 and $20 million per season.

Even if we go with the lower of the two figures, this still only leaves around $8.7 million to re-sign their other restricted and unrestricted free agents. This is a major challenge, when considering this includes the likes of Jake Gardiner, Kasperi Kapanen, Andreas Johnsson and Ron Hainsey.

With the way they’re set up these days, if any team can find a way to make it work, it’s the Leafs. However, even with the quality that runs throughout the organisation these days, it will be a miracle if they don’t lose at least one of their key players who need re-signing following this season.

In theory it’s a good problem have, in respect of how much talent the Leafs possess. Regardless, we don’t envy the size of the task facing general manager Kyle Dubas and company come summertime.

Next. Could William Nylander still be traded?. dark

What’s your take on the proposed salary cap increase for the 2019-20 season? How do you see it impacting the Toronto Maple Leafs specifically? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.