Morning Hits: Rising Salary Cap, McIlrath, Mrazek and Drouin

  • Craig Custance of ESPN: Impact of the rising cap.

    “It’s going to loosen up talks for the higher-end players,” one agent said. “It’s going to expand opportunities for players to start signing contracts now. Most GMs I’ve spoken with have been reluctant to move forward on contract talks until they have some kind of idea.”

    Canucks GM Mike Gillis indicated they can spend beyond the long-term deals they already have.

    “The projected number in that range just adds flexibility for us and adds the opportunity to spend that money wisely. If we can do it wisely, we look at it as opportunity,” Gillis said.

    “When the twins signed, it was obviously a huge transaction for our organization and for them,” Gillis said. “We were doing that on the basis of what we projected the number to be … None of us know what the actual number will be at the end of the day.”

    For the 2015-16 season.

    “I’ve got to believe it’s going to be 75 [million],” said the most conservative responder. Another guess came in around $78 million, with the highest prediction at $80 million.

    Blues GM Doug Armstrong.

    “I think you have to look at it from a holistic point of view,” Armstrong said when I asked him what the cap number meant for the small market teams. “If the cap increases, that means revenue is increasing and the pie is getting bigger. I think we all have to be excited about that.”

  • Patrick Kearns: The Rangers have recalled defenseman Dylan McIlarth from the AHL.
  • Ansar Khan: The Red Wings have recalled Petr Mrazek from the AHL. Jimmy Howard was ‘bumped” into during practice.
  • John Moore: Jonathan Drouin is “getting better and better” and will leave for Team Canada’s WJC camp today. He’s confident he’ll be able to play.
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