Boston Bruins face bonus onus

Why B's, other NHL teams will be scrambling to stay under salary cap in 2011-12

Updated: November 5, 2010, 9:18 AM ET
By Matthew Wuest |
Tyler SeguinAndre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty ImagesTyler Seguin will have a significant impact on the Bruins' cap next season.

The cushioned salary cap ride NHL teams have enjoyed for the past two seasons is about to get a lot bumpier.

With the collective bargaining agreement set to expire in 2012, the performance bonus cushion -- which allows teams to exceed the cap by more than $4 million in bonuses -- will not be in place next season. The bonus cushion has been giving teams wiggle room for the past two seasons, and it is calculated exactly as 7.5 percent of the upper limit, or $4.455 million this season.

In a nutshell, players with bonuses will eat up a lot more cap space, and the Boston Bruins provide a perfect example of exactly how much havoc that could wreak.