Many of you have asked about the cap hit the Bruins will take once they sign No. 2 overall pick Tyler Seguin and then keep him in the NHL this season rather than return him to Plymouth of the Ontario Hockey League, where he’d have to go if he doesn’t make the big club as an 18-year-old.
So by my reading of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, here’s a look at what Seguin’s compensation package will be. If anyone knows better or has a correction, please write me and let me know.
The easiest part is this: Seguin will receive an entry-level deal for three years, with a maximum base salary of $900,000 per season. This base salary has increased for every draft year since the lockout ended.
Next there’s a signing bonus, which cannot exceed 10 percent of the player’s salary for one given season. So if Seguin signs for the maximum $900,000, then his signing bonus cannot be more than $90,000. (However, and this is something I am not sure about, it might be 10 percent of the salary plus potential bonuses, which are explained below.)
Finally, the complicated part is the performance bonuses. Only entry-level players and veterans who meet certain qualifications are eligible for performance bonuses. Individual ‘A’ Bonuses — based on ice time, goals, assists, points, points per game, plus/minus, end-of-season all-rookie team, NHL All-Star Game selection and NHL All-Star Game MVP — cannot exceed $212,500. That is, if Seguin gets an all-rookie team bonus for that amount, he cannot have a bonus clause for any of the rest of the items listed here.
Individual ‘B’ bonuses are the ones a player can earn by winning or finishing within a certain amount of votes from the first-place winner for the league’s year-end awards. The maximum allowable for his bonus is $2 million.
So at maximum, if Seguin had every bonus written into his contract, his salary cap hit would $3,202,500. CapGeek.com lists Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman, last year’s No. 2 pick, as a $3.5 cap hit. So that probably counts a signing bonuses that’s a percentage of his base salary plus potential bonuses.
Remember, the Bruins, and all NHL teams, have a 7.5 percent cushion that counts potential bonuses into the 2011-12 salary cap. That’s $4.455 million. As of now, the only other Bruins player with bonuses to worry about is veteran Mark Recchi. But should another player on an entry-level deal — Brad Marchand, Zach Hamill, Joe Colborne or the like — make the jump to the NHL, or the Bruins signed another late-30s veteran to a bonus-heavy deal, the Bruins would have less wiggle room.
Basically, you can count Seguin as a $900,000 cap hit for 2010-11 and worry about the bonuses in the fall if it comes time for the Bruins to keep a Hamill or Colborne on the NHL roster and it forces them to make a difficult decision with a veteran (see Jeremy Reich for a recent example).
Again, if anyone knows different than this just let me know. I hope this helps.