NBA and NHL Salary CapsPosted on April 17, 2010
I find it a twist of irony that the NBA and NHL salary caps are both rising in this economy and are both set at about $57 million for next season. The NBA generates more television revenue than the NHL. The NHL generates more gate related revenue than the NBA. Both businesses grew year over year. The NBA has more total revenue than the NHL. The NHL has a hard cap. The NBA doesn't. You don't have to spend to the cap max. You can spend less in either instance. The NHL gives a disproportionate slice of the top line revenues to the players as per the CBA. I think the NHL players get close to 57 percent of the pie this year. The NHL cap assumes a mid point of the range times 30 to set the cap. The salaries to be paid can slide from a low of $41 million to $57 million high end hard cap with $49 million (midpoint) times 30 teams being the salary cap pie. The Washington Capitals are now at the spending max in the NHL. There were some years we were at the bottom of the heap. Some where we were in the middle of things. Now we are at the top. It is ironic how close in alignment the two leagues are now with their cap spending. The NBA cap isn't at a hard ceiling. There are a lot of exemptions and then fines and taxes when you spend over the cap. It is called the luxury tax. The NHL teams have about 23 to 24 pro players to pay; the NBA 12 to 15. Some NBA teams have 3 to 4 players that make what the NHL's Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin make. Just as an example, Mike Miller of the Wizards gets paid what Alex Ovechkin earns. Gilbert Arenas makes twice what Alex Ovechkin earns. Less players in the NBA to pay - same total dollars - round about.