Caps senior writer, Mike Vogel, reported on Friday that the Washington Capitals will lose $472,927 of cap space during the 2021-22 season due to performance bonuses earned by defenseman Zdeno Chara and goaltender Ilya Samsonov.
Some salary cap news: The #Caps' 20-21 salary cap performance bonus overage which will be charged to the team's 2021-22 salary cap is $472,927, due to bonuses achieved by Zdeno Chara and Ilya Samsonov.
— Mike Vogel (@VogsCaps) June 25, 2021
Chara, who signed a $795k deal right before training camp, earned two bonuses: one for playing more than 10 games ($230k) and the other for the Capitals making the postseason ($250k). Chara’s overage penalty per PuckPedia was $328K.
Zdeno Chara's $795,000 deal with the #Capitals also includes $730,000 in Performance Bonuses that break down as follows:
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) December 31, 2020
Samsonov, who is coming off his three-year, $4.425 entry-level contract, was eligible to make a maximum of $600k of performance bonuses. Samsonov’s $145k bonus came from his two shutouts during the regular season.
The #ALLCAPS finished 20-21 over cap so all perf. bonuses earned carry over as overage:
Chara- $328K GP & Making Playoffs
Samsonov – $145K A Bonus for shutouts
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) July 16, 2021
With the salary cap remaining static ($81.5 million), it appears the Capitals will begin next season with $81,027,073 to spend. They currently have $9,018,740 of cap space available with Alex Ovechkin (UFA), Ilya Samsonov (RFA), and Zdeno Chara (UFA) coming off the books this summer. Ovechkin and Samsonov are likely (crosses fingers) to be re-signed while Chara is considering either playing a 24th season or retirement.
The nearly $500k of lost cap space is minimal but not insignificant for a team rubbing right against the cap limit. Without flexibility during the 2020-21 season, the Capitals had to play with 11 forwards and 7 defensemen and also were down a player during multiple games after being plagued with injuries during the regular season.
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