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Bonuses: a larger amount next year than this year

The way things work in the NHL, a club has the right to give bonuses to certain players. Normally, it’s the players on their entry-level contracts and veterans aged 35 and over who are entitled to them. If a club is unable to pay all its players’ bonuses under the current year’s payroll, it simply rolls them over into the following year’s payroll.

At the Bruins, for example, the contracts of Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci mean that the club will have a $4.5 million penalty on next year’s payroll. It’sconsiderable, but expected.

A guy like Sean Monahan, because of his many injuries, would also be eligible for such a contract next year, even if he’s not 35 or older or no longer on his entry-level contract.But that’s another matter.

For the Canadiens, it was clear that bonuses would be deferred. But why? Because there were a number of young players who were going to get a lot of ice time, and because the contracts on the long-term injured list are hurting right now. It’s all very well for people to say that Carey Price and Paul Byron didn’t hurt the CH because they spent the season on the LTIR… and most of the time, that’s true. But in the summer, when the mass can only be exceeded by 10% and the LTIR doesn’t exist, it hurts. And at the end of the season, when it’s time to calculate the final payroll, it hurts too. What you have to understand is that Price’s $10.5 million is not completely exempt from the payroll. If, with Price’s contract, the CH goes $2.5 million over the cap, that amount is credited, but not the extra $8 million. It’sthe same principle for Byron and Monahan, who spent the bulk of the season on the LTIR.

To put it plainly: every day, the Habs are capped and credited with only what they need, leaving no room to pay youth bonuses. This is where long-term injuries hurt the club, and seeing the CH defer their bonuses isn’t even the beginning of a surprise. All this tosay that four players (Sean Farrell, Cole Caufield and his 46 games, Kaiden Guhle and Jordan Harris) collected the bonuses, whether for points or games played. This will cost $1.17M, which is less than the Bruins ($4.5M) and Flyers, who are at $1.1875M.

This amount will be deducted from next year’s payroll. $212,500 could be added to this amount if Jordan Harris is named to the NHL All-Rookie Team, but I don’t think he will be.

Last year, with Price and Weber, the Canadiens were in the same situation, and deferred $1.132 million in bonuses. This amount was not used this year by Kent Hughes, since it counted against the club’s payroll. Next year, it will be an even larger amount, since the $1.17M is greater than $1.132M. At least, the salary cap will rise from $82.5M to $83.5M, which will help.

(Credit: Cap Friendly)

Note that the two contracts of the players whose salaries Kent Hughes has held back (Evgenii Dadonov and Nick Bonino) will expire this summer, so for the time being, the GM has a little extra cash on hand. But he’ll be holding some back elsewhere this summer/fall, in my opinion. Let’s also remember that there’s still a year to go before Karl Alzner’s contract disappears completely off the books. His buyout means that in 2023-2024, he’ll still count for $833,333 on the CH’s payroll. Next summer, however, it’s all over.

In gusto

– Seen it all the same.

– Nice read.

– Really?

– Backup for Laval next season? [By the way,

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