Thursday, August 07, 2008

Hard to make NHL bonuses (Phil Kessel mention)

I found this article while reading the Boston Globe on-line. Seems that is tough sledding when it comes to making bonuses on an NHL contract. So when you read that player X will be paid so many of millions of dollars including when his bonuses (if he reaches it) be aware that it is harder than it looks.
Earning incentive bonuses is often a bit of a reach

Last Tuesday, No. 1 overall pick Steven Stamkos signed a three-year, entry-level deal with Tampa Bay. Stamkos will earn a base salary of $875,000, but his annual cap hit will be $3.725 million because of potential bonuses, giving the forward a cap number greater than all but seven Bruins.

Stamkos, however, will likely have a hard time attaining all of his bonuses, given how difficult reaching those incentives can be.

Case in point: Phil Kessel and his $2.2 million cap hit. Kessel, who earns a base salary of $850,000, is entering the final season of his entry-level deal. Through two NHL seasons, Kessel has not qualified for any of his bonuses.

In 2008-09, Kessel could reach some of the incentives. He can earn an additional $212,500 if he scores 20 or more goals, a bonus he came one goal short of earning last season. Kessel can also make $212,500 if he records 35 or more assists, and another $212,500 if he scores 60 or more points. Naturally, Kessel is no longer eligible for the $212,500 bonus for making the All-Rookie team. While Kessel is in range of hitting the previously mentioned bonuses, it's unlikely - although the Bruins certainly wouldn't mind if he proves the contrary - that he will earn a $500,000 bonus by being named the Selke Trophy winner as the league's best defensive forward.

Conclusion: Under the collective bargaining agreement, high-end rookies carry significant cap numbers. But other than exceptions named Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin, the bonuses can be hard to reach.

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