In this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Chicago Blackhawks, the highest seeded team in the Western Conference, were swept in the first round by the Nashville Predators. If I guaranteed this outcome earlier this season, I would have been admitted into a psych ward. But that’s exactly what happened, and while it was amazing to watch, it also served as a reminder of how much the salary cap matters in the NHL.
For those who are unaware, a salary cap in sports means that every team in a league has a limited amount of money they can spend on players’ salaries. Its purpose is to keep rich teams from buying all the talented athletes, which would leave other teams at a disadvantage. However, it has a side effect in the NHL where traditional championship dynasties have virtually disappeared. […]