As general manager Peter Chiarelli looks at his options in regards to how to tweak the Boston Bruins roster this summer, he'll have to keep in mind the fact his team is facing a $4.75 bonus overage penalty for the 2014-15 season, as per Capgeek.
What is a bonus overage? We're glad you asked!
When the bonus cushion is in affect, teams can exceed the salary cap in performance bonuses by up to 7.5 percent of the salary cap's upper limit. Should performance bonuses actually earned at season's end push them past the salary cap's upper limit, the excess bonuses earned will be carried over as a penalty to the team's cap payroll the following season.
The issue, as explained by Joe Haggerty of CSNNE, is the nature of several contract bonuses hit by Bruins' players in 2013-14:
A group of B’s players contributed to the overage penalty by reaching contractual bonuses last season, according to cap geek. Jarome Iginla accounted for $3.75 million when he hit a huge bonus for 10 games played last season, Torey Krug hit $850,000 in bonuses in a standout rookie season, Dougie Hamilton accounted for 212, 500 in bonuses in the second year of his entry level contract and even Ryan Spooner landed $21, 250 in bonus money.
As a result, the Bruins have just over $8-million in cap space to re-sign unrestricted free agent Iginla, sign Krug, Reilly Smith and Matt Bartkowski (all restricted free agents) to second contracts and sign a backup goaltender behind $7 million man Tuukka Rask.
It will be a challenging summer for Chiarelli, who will be looking to maintain a roster that finished first in the regular season standings while attempting to improve upon a disappointing secnd-round playoff exit.