2024-25 salary cap better than expected for Oilers ... just

The salary cap for next season will now be slightly better than previously projected, but in reality it doesn't really help the Edmonton Oilers that much.
2024 Stanley Cup Final - Game One
2024 Stanley Cup Final - Game One / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages

Prior to Game one of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night, Gary Bettman and Bill Daly met the media to confirm the salary cap for next season. In theory, on a peripheral level it was good news for the Edmonton Oilers.

As per Sportsnet, the salary cap for the 2024-25 campaign has officially been set at $88 million, which is $500,000 better than previously projected. It also represents a 5.4 percent increase from this season's salary cap of $83.5 million, which is the largest increase since 6.0 percent for the 2018-19 campaign.

The increase of $4.5 million is understandably significantly more welcome to the teams, given the last increase was just $1 million. Also as per Sportsnet, the lower limit has been set at $65.0 million and the midpoint at $76.5 million, but in reality this is of no consequence to the Oilers, who have essentially have the opposite issue when it comes to their financial situation regarding the salary cap.

A significant batch of pending free agents for the Oilers

As per Cap Friendly, consider that as things stand the Oilers have 10 pending unrestricted free agents to consider on their current roster. This includes the likes of Warren Foegele, Vincent Desharnais, Calvin Pickard and Mattias Janmark, as well as Philip Broberg and Dylan Holloway, who are both pending restricted free agents.

Now, factor in that the Oilers have a projected cap hit of $77,966,667 for next season, which includes the highest carryover bonus overages penalty in the NHL, at $3,55 million. Thus this leaves just $10,033,333 of projected cap space available, to go towards re-signing whichever pending free agents the Oilers can retain, as part of their attempts to fill out the roster for the 2024-25 campaign.

This really is a tough spot the Oilers find themselves in, which in turn alludes to why there has been so much emphasis put on this season. They are effectively in a now or never, win now situation with their current roster setup, which stands to look very different come next season.

Now there are certain things the Oilers can -- or indeed will be forced to do -- in order to fix this entire situation. Options will include buyouts and trades, with the likes of Jack Campbell, Evander Kane and Cody Ceci being candidates for either or both scenarios, albeit this is easier said than done.

dark. Next. Oilers lose Game 1 in Oilers fashion. Oilers lose Game 1 in Oilers fashion

One other factor to consider is who will be the general manager in charge of resolving this financial nightmare, with Ken Holland more than likely gone once this season concludes. Whatever transpires, Oilers fans have to hope their team can come back from their Game One loss on Saturday night, to win the Stanley Cup and make what is to come more bearable for everyone concerned.

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