There is no salary cap in the playoffs, however, players still receive compensation for a playoff appearance. The NHL and NHLPA agree to set aside a playoff bonus pool to be distributed to teams based on how far they advance.
Players get an equal share of their pool (normally 25 contracts) and those shares can be adjusted for actual number of players, injured and scratched players. Players allocate funding to coaching staff and other operational staff as well on a per team basis.
The Washington Capitals received $575,000 for winning the Presidents Trophy. They had recorded 55 Wins and 118 Points.
The 8 teams eliminated in the First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs each received $287,500 to be distributed throughout the team and staff accordingly. This totals 2.3 Million for this round between the 8 teams.
The 4 teams eliminated in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs each received $575,000. This totals 2.3 Million for this round between the 8 teams.
The Anaheim Ducks and the Ottawa Senators received 1.45USD Million for their participation in the Conference Finals of the NHL Playoffs. This totals 2.9 Million.
The Nashville Predators received 2.6 Million USD for their trouble reaching the Stanley Cup Final, with the Pittsburgh Penguins reaching after winning the Cup 4.325 Million USD. Not a bad back to back bonus.
These bonuses total 15 Million this year in accordance with the CBA Policy.
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Here are the rules and iterations of previous playoff models of bonuses for the NHL
In 2012-13 and 2013-14, the playoff bonus pool was $13 million, or twice the amount set aside in the earlier Collective Bargaining Agreement. The pool is set to rise in future years as league revenues are also expected to increase:
- 2014-15 and 2015-16: $14 million
- 2016-17 and 2017-18: $15 million
- 2018-19 and 2019-20: $16 million
- 2020-21 and 2021-22: $17 million
The NHLPA, with league approval, determines how the pool is distributed among the playoff-participating teams each year. In previous seasons this would have been the breakdown on bonuses: This was the first iteration following the new CBA. Teams set aside money in order to compensate performance during the playoff season.
- President’s Trophy winner — $500,000
- First round losers — $2 million ($250,000 each to eight teams)
- Second round losers — $2 million ($500,000 each to four teams)
- Third round losers — $2.5 million ($1.25-million each to two teams)
- Stanley Cup finalist — $2.25 million
- Stanley Cup champion — $3.75 million