NHL rumors: Bruins will carry $4.5 million in bonus overages to 2024 salary cap

Report: Bruins will carry $4.5 million in bonus overages to 2023-24 salary cap originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Bruins really benefitted from Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci both signing inexpensive, incentive-laden one-year contracts for the 2022-23 NHL season.

But that benefit will soon run out.

PuckPedia reported Friday that the Bruins, as expected, will carry $4.5 million in bonus overages onto next season’s salary cap. This means that $4.5 million of the 2023-24 salary cap for the Bruins will be tied up by incentives/bonuses that Bergeron and Krejci earned in this year’s contracts. The salary cap is expected to rise only about $1 million to $83.5 million for 2023-24.

Bergeron had a $2.5 million bonus for playing in at least 10 games, which he easily surpassed. Krejci had bonuses for 10 games played ($1 million), 20 games played ($500,000) and qualification for the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs ($500,000), per CapFriendly. He hit them all.

In total, these bonuses between Bergeron and Krejci add up to $4.5 million. Structuring the contracts this way allowed the Bruins to keep Bergeron and Krejci’s salary cap hits low for this season. Bergeron was at $2.5 million and Krejci was at $1 million.

It was all worth it because these low cap hits allowed the Bruins to fill out the rest of their roster with good players and add tremendous depth at the trade deadline with the acquisitions of Dmitry Orlov, Garnet Hathaway and Tyler Bertuzzi.

Projected lines, pairings for Bruins without Bergeron for Game 3

But the bill will eventually come due for the Bruins. The timing isn’t great, either, because Boston has a lot of players who are eligible for unrestricted or restricted free agency this summer, most notably Bergeron (UFA), Krejci (UFA), Bertuzzi (UFA), Orlov (UFA), Tomas Nosek (UFA), Trent Frederic (RFA) and Jeremy Swayman (RFA).

David Pastrnak‘s cap hit also will rise from $6.7 million this season to $11.25 million next season when his eight-year extension begins.

The Bruins will have some difficult decisions to make in the offseason, but that’s the life of a Stanley Cup contender.

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