NHL News

Jan 01 2024

15 teams will carry a performance bonus overage cap hit next season

This article first appeared on NorthStarBets.com, the Official Sportsbook & Casino of PuckPedia

With a salary cap that rose just $1 million last year following two seasons with no increase, NHL teams had very little cap space to work with this past year.

It led to a record 19 teams utilizing Long-Term Injured Reserve (LTIR) to either permanently or temporarily exceed the cap. Half of the league’s 32 clubs finished the regular season with a final team cap hit over the maximum $82.5 million by using LTIR.

One of the negative consequences of utilizing LTIR is that the performance bonuses players earn will be a cap charge in the following season.

Under the Salary Cap rules outlined in the CBA, 3 types of players are eligible to have performance bonuses in their contracts:

  1. Players on their Entry Level Contracts
  2. Players that are 35 or older and sign a 1-year contract
  3. Veteran Players that have missed considerable time due to injury and sign a 1-year contract

At the conclusion of the season, the performance bonuses earned by players are added to their team’s final season cap hit, and if the resulting total exceeds the cap ($82.5 million), the excess is a cap hit for the following season as a performance bonus carryover overage cap charge. 

For the 2023-24 season, a record 15 teams will incur a bonus overage cap charge, exceeding the previous record set this past season of 14 teams.

Here’s a look at the 15 teams that will have an overage for the 2023-24 season.


2023 Bonus Overage

Additional Potential Bonuses

Boston Bruins


Philadelphia Flyers


+ 212.5K if Cates named to All-Rookie Team

Montreal Canadiens


+ 212.5K if Harris named to All-Rookie Team

Edmonton Oilers


Vancouver Canucks


Colorado Avalanche


New York Rangers


Carolina Hurricanes


 + $500K for Stastny for Cup Win

New Jersey Devils


Dallas Stars


Florida Panthers


+ $25K if Benning plays 5 playoff games

Seattle Kraken


Assumes Beniers named to All-Rookie Team ($212.5K)

San Jose Sharks


St. Louis Blues


Washington Capitals



The Boston Bruins lead the way with a whopping $4.5 million bonus overage. To fit everyone under the cap this season, the Bruins signed 35+ year olds Patrice Bergeron ($2.5 million in bonuses) and David Krejci ($2 million in bonuses) to contracts with easily attainable bonuses for games played and qualifying for the playoffs. Well, now that those easily attainable bonuses were achieved, and with the Bruins relying on LTIR this past season, it means Boston’s roster this season comes at a significant cap cost for the 23-24 club.

In Philadelphia, despite finishing well out of the playoffs, interim General Manager Danny Briere will be saddled with $1,187,500 in extra cap charges next season due to the team using LTIR all season and three players (Cates, Braun, and York) earning bonuses.

Montreal is another lottery team that will have a large $1,170,000 cap charge next season due to using LTIR and four players (Farrell, Caufield, Guhle, and Harris) earning bonuses.

Trading Tyson Barrie provided the opportunity for Evan Bouchard to have a very strong finish to the season for the Edmonton Oilers. A Bouchard goal in game 82 will carry a financial sting into next year. The goal allowed Bouchard to hit 40 points earning him $425,000 in additional bonuses; $212.5K for the 40-point threshold and $212.5K for finishing with 0.49 points per game. In addition to the other bonuses he earned for assists and Time on Ice, the late surge pushed Bouchard and the Oilers to $850,000 in total bonuses and additional cap charges for next season.

Bowen Byram’s last week of the season earned him $425,000 in bonuses with Colorado. As the season was nearing its conclusion, Byram had the requisite performance in Time on Ice and Points per Game Played, but to earn those bonuses he needed to play in a minimum of 42 games.  After missing games in the second last week of the season, Byram was stuck at 39 games. He returned in time to play in Colorado’s final three games to reach 42 games and trigger the additional $425,000 in bonuses. With the additional bonus he earned for goals, his $637,500 total bonuses will reduce Colorado’s space next season.

While some teams will suffer from bonuses earned late in the season, the Rangers managed to create some breathing space. To qualify for the time on ice bonus on an entry-level deal, a player must rank in the top 6 for forwards or top four for Defence in ice team based on the end-of-season roster. Prior to the trade deadline, Braden Schneider and Alexis Lafreniere were tracking to earn a combined $400,000 in bonuses based on ice-time. However, the trade deadline acquisitions of Vladimir Tarasenko and Niko Mikkola pushed them down in the rankings and out of the placement required to earn the bonuses.  With New York already incurring over $610,000 in bonus overage for next season, not adding an additional $400,000 is significant.

Interestingly, of the 16 teams that finished with a final cap hit over $82.5 million, just 12 had players earn bonuses and therefore incur an overage.  Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Toronto, and Vegas all avoided an overage despite using LTIR and finishing the season over the cap. Of teams that finished under the $82.5 million cap, three had bonuses that pushed them over $82.5 million and incurred an overage on the excess: New York Rangers (finished with just $1,608 of cap space), Dallas, and Seattle.

While the cap will be increasing by at least $1 million next season, 15 teams will have part or more than that eaten up by bonus overages from this past year.


Latest & Popular

Insights and Insiders