Dadonov’s Modest Contract Tells us the Flat-Cap Salary Squeeze is Real

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It was only a matter of time before the flat NHL salary cap, held to $81.5 million after COVID-19 killed gate revenues, started to visibly dent player contracts in 2020 free agency.

Even the top members of the UFA class only got their money with some caveats, Alex Pietrangelo still scored proper value for his services on a seven-year, $61-million pact with the Vegas Golden Knights, but Vegas had to shed bodies left and right just to make room for him, and it’s debatable whether they’ve actually improved their roster since they lost so many core players. Taylor Hall got an $8-million AAV from the Buffalo Sabres, but you can remove the first ‘A’ from AAV. It’s not an average. It’s a one-year contract. He’s betting on himself to score a bigger, better deal a year from now when, hopefully, the cap goes up.