The ceiling will be set at $59.4 million, an increase of $2.6 million from last season, and $600,000 more than previous estimates of $58.8 million. The floor will be $43 million.
That means plenty of room to bring in Ilya Kovalchuk now, right? Well, not exactly.
Detroit has $54.2 million locked up in 18 players next year, and has five restricted free agents (Darren Helm, Patrick Eaves, Drew Miller, Derek Meech and Justin Abdelkader) that are currently mulling offers from the team. The increased cap is welcome news, especially after Detroit recently inked Todd Bertuzzi to a two-year, $3.875 million contract last week, which was a slight raise for the unrestricted free agent.
Ansar Khan also reported that Andreas Lilja likely won't be re-signed and Kirk Maltby will be allowed to test the free agent market. Holland will look for a veteran replacement for Lilja and a gritty fourth line forward, which might end up being Maltby anyways. If Maltby is unsigned late in the summer, the team may offer him a deal.