It shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise, but Frank Seravalli of TSN reported that the Buffalo Sabres are among a handful of teams that could put in an internal salary cap for next season. The cap ceiling is set at $81.5 million for at least the next two years under the new CBA.
Here is the quote on the Sabres from Seravalli’s piece:
“Sources say the Sabres are considering an internal salary cap in the low $70 million range...”
Again, with how the last few months have gone at Pegula Sports and Entertainment this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise if this is their plan. Personally, I’d be surprised if they come in with a cap hit under $75 million for next year.
It’s also important to remember that they can still carry a higher cap hit overall, but have a lower cap on actual cash spent. They can go out and target players that carry a lower actual salary regardless of their cap hit. One such example would Derek Stepan of the Arizona Coyotes. He carries of a cap hit of $6.5 million, but is only owed $2 million in actual salary next season, according to Cap Friendly.
Sean Monahan is another player that falls into this. He’s only owed $2.5 million in salary next season and he also receives no more bonuses for the remainder of his contract.
The other part where the Sabres were mentioned in the TSN story is when Seravalli discussed the 20% pay cut the coaching staff took during the COVID-19 pause. Where it got interesting is when he mentioned that the coaching staff rejected a 25% pay cut moving forward.
Lance Lysowski of the Buffalo News confirmed this report with a story of his own. It’s going to be an interesting offseason not only for the Sabres, but all of the NHL.