I think most of us were expecting the cap to rise around $3M, but TSN is reporting that the cap ceiling will increase to $64 M this year, a rise of almost $5M from the current ceiling.
This may allow the Devils to not only keep Parise, but Greene and Hedberg as well. Or it may spur Lou on to making a bigger splash in a free agent market particularly rich this year in puck-moving defensemen. However, with all teams having increased cap flexibility, cap hits for free agents may go up across the board. Hot commodities like Bieksa, Wisniewski, and Pitkanen will probably out of our price range. Ehrhoff and Kaberle will be less pricey, but come with question marks about their defensive play. I, for one, would like to see Lou explore a deal with Ian White, who performed well for San Jose in the playoffs and is a sorely needed right-handed shot from the point.
If Lou plans to explore the high-end free agent market, I hope he has Parise's signature on a contract before July 1st, or it may hamper his ability to sign players.