The Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes has been vocal about wanting to free up some Cap space to gain financial flexibility, and this latest news is sure to make that process even more difficult.
The Montreal Canadiens will carry over $1.132M in player bonuses over to next season (2022-2023) due to having four rookies on entry-level contracts hit their performance bonuses. The reason the Canadiens have to have it carry over to next season is that they didn’t have any Cap space to incorporate these bonuses under the Cap.
Having used Long-Term Injury Reserve (LTIR) to ice a roster due to major injuries to Shea Weber and Carey Price, the Canadiens couldn’t absorb the bonuses of these players this season. You, in fact, cannot apply performance bonuses to LTIR space, so it forces a team, like the Canadiens, who were over the Cap all season, to differ the bonuses to the next season. The Canadiens finished the year with $10.933M of LTIR relief space with Shea Weber and Jonathan Drouin on the shelf to end the year, meaning they could not have possibly included these bonuses in their salary calculations at any point throughout the season.
According to our friends at Puckpedia, this means that the Montreal Canadiens will have $81.368M in Cap space next season, rather than the regular $82.5most teams will have. This will further complicate things for the Canadiens and Hughes, who are looking to gain more flexibility under the Salary Cap by trading the contracts of high-priced veterans like Shea Weber and Jeff Petry.
The Montreal Canadiens will have to get creative this summer if they want to make any extra additions to their roster this summer, even if it’s in the form of depth leadership for a young roster. Once the Canadiens gain some clarity on Carey Price’s situation, it’ll help them determine what the next steps are. The carrying over of these performance bonuses is just another hurdle Hughes and the Montreal Canadiens will have to overcome in their ongoing roster transformation.
The following players accrued performance bonuses:
- Nick Suzuki: $537,500
- Cole Caufield: $300,000
- Alexander Romanov: $212,500
- Jordan Harris: $82,500