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Canadiens among NHL teams most affected by player deferred bonuses
Credit: Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

In the NHL, performance bonuses affect a club’s payroll.

Basically, if a player is eligible for performance bonuses and receives at least one, the amount is added to the club’s payroll. If the team can’t afford to add it, it can add the amount in question to its payroll for the following year.

So that puts off the problem.

With Carey Price’s contract hanging over his head, the Habs are still at the maximum salary cap, forcing Kent Hughes to defer his bonuses.

In 2023-2024, for example, $1.17 million was added to the cap due to bonuses from the year before (2022-2023). And since the Habs spent every penny available this season, bonuses for the 23-24 campaign will be carried over to 2024-2025.

But on that subject, here’s Frank Seravalli’s article on DFO (in partnership with Cap Friendly) to talk about which teams will most need to defer bonuses in 2024-2025.

And the Habs rank sixth in the NHL with $1.0075 million.

So the amount is smaller than last year… and we see that the Oilers, Stars, Capitals, Kings and Devils must also carry over a million dollars onto the next mass.

This wipes out part of the projected cap increase.

For those wondering what goes into this amount, here’s your answer: mostly performance bonuses for players still on their entry-level contracts.

Sean Monahan ($15,000) had a bonus if he also played 26 games or more this season, but he was entitled to sign such a contract because of his long absence in 2022-2023. And since the Jets’ amount is $0 for bonuses, let’s assume it’s the Habs who inherit the amount.

Guys like Joshua Roy, Justin Barron, Arber Xhekaj, Jayden Struble and Kaiden Guhle are likely to have been paid in Montreal, all of whom are on their entry-level contracts and have played several games in town.

But the one who undoubtedly made the amount soar was Juraj Slafkovsky. As the first overall pick, he got an entry-level contract with big bonuses up for grabs… and he’s got 50 points this season. His famous $250,000 goal against Detroit, where do you think that counts? Exactly.

This means that next year, the Habs will have $1.0075 million in deferred bonuses as dead money . Add to that Jeff Petry’s $2.34375M and Jake Allen’s $1.925M.

This gives a total of $5,276,250 in dead money.

In 2023-2024, taking into account Petry, Allen, Joel Edmundson, Karl Alzner’s contract buyout (which ends this summer) and deferred bonuses, the Habs theoretically had $8,022,083 in dead money , nearly $3 million more than next year.

In reality, keep in mind that Jake Allen was active for part of the season… but still: the 2024-2025 amount will be less than the 2023-2024 amount.

In a row

– Nice set.

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– Nothing less.

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– Cole Caufield and Slaf will face off on May 13.

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