Friday May 22nd, 2015

The NHL’s salary cap for the 2015-16 season is expected to be around $71 million, a five percent increase over this season, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said.

Bettman said that amount could change slightly, depending on the fluctuations of the Canadian dollar.

The salary cap for the 2014-15 season was $69 million, after the league had a record-high in revenues.

Bettman answered questions between the first and second periods of Game 3 of the Western Conference finals between the Anaheim Ducks and the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.

Bettman also discussed the league’s concussions issues, more than three months after the death of former defenseman Steve Montador.

Montador was found dead in his home in February and was found to have suffered from chronic traumatic encephelopathy, (CTE), a degenerative brain disease that has been linked to repeated head trauma.

More than 70 named former players have sued the NHL, claiming the league did not do enough to protect them from head injuries, failed to properly warn players of risks of brain trauma, and consistently promoted violent play.

The players also want Bettman to testify in the class-action concussion lawsuit, with a judge ruling earlier this month that Bettman possesses “unique or special knowledge relevant to this lawsuit."

HAMILTON: Ducks show resiliency in Game 3 win over Blackhawks

“From a medical and scientific standpoint, there is no evidence yet that one leads to the other,” Bettman said.

Chris Nowinski, the co-founder of the Boston-based Sports Legacy Institute, which leads research on traumatic brain injuries in athletes, disagreed with Bettman's remarks.

''If `necessarily' means `always,' fine. If not, then `no evidence' is untrue,” Nowinski said on Twitter. “We have `some' pretty good evidence.”

- Scooby Axson

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