Ask The Capologist

Have a question about the NHL Salary Cap, CBA, or want to know how transactions happen in the NHL? Ask PuckPedia’s capologist. Browse by topic

NHL Salary Cap Topics > Performance Bonuses and Carryovers

Performance Bonuses and Carryovers

Performance Bonuses

Performance Bonuses are paid to players based on their achievements and are not guaranteed.  Only certain players are eligible for performance bonuses in their contract:

-Entry-Level Contract Players

-Players that are 35 years or older and sign a 1 year contract

-Players with a minimum of 400 NHL Games Played signing a 1 year contract after having a long-term injury.  A long-term injury is defined as a player on Injured Reserve for a minimum of 100 days in the last year. 

While performance bonuses count against the salary cap, teams are permitted to exceed the salary cap due to performance bonuses, to a maximum of 7.5% of the Salary Cap.  

If a team exceeds the Salary Cap due to performance bonuses, then any amount over the Salary Cap is considered a Bonus Carryover, and counts against the cap in the next season. 

Signing Bonus

Signings Bonuses are paid upon signing a contract, or paid out on July 1 of a contract year.  Signing bonuses are similar to salary as both are guaranteed.