5 Things: Entry-Level Contracts

We’ve had a request for more “hard news” around here, so you got it.  Kind of.  As often as I can find them, I will  be bringing you five things that you might not know about hockey.  First up…

5 Things: NHL Entry-Level Contracts

1. “Entry-level” contracts are required for players who sign between the ages of 18 – 21, and encompass their first three NHL seasons. Players who sign at 22-23 are “entry-level” for two years, and at 24 for a one year.  Players signing their first NHL contracts after age 24 are not subject to these restrictions.

2. An entry-level player can earn a maximum of $925,000 in 2011. (This number was $850,000 in 2005 and increased over the course of the current collective bargaining agreement.  Pre-lockout in 2004, the max entry-level salary was $1.295 million).


3. Signing Bonuses: The maximum signing bonus a player can receive is equal to 10 percent of his salary for each year of the entry-level contract. (Pre-lockout these bonuses could be up to 50% of base salary.)
4. Performance Bonuses: Players on entry level contracts are one of only three groups eligible for performance bonuses.  The others are veterans who’ve played 400+ games and sign one-year deals after returning from long-term (100+ days) injury, and players over 35 years old who sign one-year contracts.


5. In most cases, these performance bonuses are paid by the League (not the player’s team) and thus don’t count against the salary cap.

The current Collective Bargaining Agreement was made in 2005 and set to expire after the 2010-2011 season.  In June 2010, the CBA was extended to include this season.  It will expire on September 15, 2012.

How’d I do?  Do you feel smarter?  You can read the CBA here [link] though it was modified slightly after the Ilya Kovulchuk cap-circumvention scandal.  Those changes are explained here [link].


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  1. Cassy Reply

    As always, you educate me to perfection!

  2. I feel warm and fuzzy with that photo of Tazer at the 2006 draft. Pants, thank you.

    • MelTing Reply

      Which you could also label, things that St. Louis regrets doing.