NHL sets salary cap at $79.5 million for next season

The salary cap for the 2018-2019 NHL season was set at $79.5 million and the floor was set at $58.8 million, the NHL and the NHL Players’ Assn. announced Thursday.

The ceiling of $79.5 million is an increase of $4.5 million from the 2017-18 season. The extra room should help teams that have been near the previous limit and have hefty contracts on their books, or teams that are looking to add free agents. The floor is the minimum amount for each team’s payroll.

The NHL instituted a hard salary cap starting with the 2005-06 season. It was initially set at $39 million. More recently, it was $71.4 million in 2015-16 and $73 million in 2016-17 before rising slightly last season and taking a bigger jump for next season.