On Monday, goaltender Cam Talbot was named the NHL’s Second Star of the Week. When he officially starts for the Kings on Wednesday night, he’ll trigger a $1-million bonus clause in his contract. Not a bad week, eh?
Back on July 1, prior to the Kings announcing they had signed Talbot to a one-year deal, we posted the following in an article announcing that he’d soon be joining the team:
Similar to what’s noted in the Trevor Lewis article below, we’re expecting Talbot’s contract to be for a low base salary (somewhere around $1M, as noted in our previous goaltender-related articles). Plus, as a player who is at least 35 years old, Talbot’s contract is eligible for performance bonuses tied to games played. When all is said and done, he could potentially end up earning more than $1.5-2M. The beauty of a bonus heavy contract is that essentially only the base counts toward the salary cap for this season. All of the bonus money is calculated at the end of the year. Because the Kings are expected to be up against the cap ceiling in 2023-24, the bonus money will actually come off the team’s salary cap for next season. It’s sort of like a loan against the future cap (and in this case, a year where the Kings will have much more cap space to work with than the upcoming season).
Let’s clarify a bit for the math lovers out there, especially because the Kings are using LTIR right now due to Viktor Arvidsson’s injury…
The carryover charge for next year is determined by taking the team’s final cap hit this season plus any bonuses earned (note: Talbot isn’t the only player with bonus clauses; there are others for Quinton Byfield, Brandt Clarke, etc.) minus the league’s 83.5M cap ceiling.
For example, if salaries came in at $83.2M plus 1.6M in bonuses, that would leave a carryover penalty of $1.3M (calculated as $84.8M – $83.5M) for the 2024-25 season. That money would come off the top of whatever the NHL salary cap is set at, i.e. giving the Kings $1.3M less to work with next season.
Now, if the Kings finish this season over the cap (due to using LTIR all year), then the full amount of all bonuses earned will be charged as a carryover for next year. Conversely, if they somehow find a way to get out of LTIR and finish this season with some cap space leftover, then that space reduces the carryover penalty for next year.
For his part, Talbot has produced on the ice. Through nine games played, he holds a 6-2-1 record, along with an impressive .923 save percentage and equally stellar 2.14 goals against average.
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