There is a certain degree of schadenfreude at the end of the season, when performance bonuses overages are announced for NHL clubs. Every team is going to be competing for the same players come Free Agency, and every dollar in overage is one less you have to compete with on the open market. Contending teams tend to be tight to the cap and rely on contributions from players on Entry Level Contracts, which often leads to those teams being punished for their success with bonus overages.
There is perhaps no better example than Artemi Panarin scoring in the last game of the 16-17 season, tying him for 10th in the league in points. That earned him $1.725m in Schedule B bonuses, combined with his $850k in A bonuses left Chicago with more than $2.5m in bonus overages. Right after a disappointing 1st round sweep, the Blackhawks traded Panarin in the reshuffle caused by the cap squeeze. It was the symbolic end to a dynasty that won 3 cups in 6 years, all predicated by an inconspicuous game 82 goal.
In 2021-22 there were over 300 players eligible for performance bonuses. Just 6 of those players were on 35+ contracts, eligible for up to $6m in performance …
Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation