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A breakdown of how Connor Brown’s performance bonus affects the Edmonton Oilers salary cap situation

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Photo credit:Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
9 months ago
One of hockey’s worst-kept secrets was that Connor Brown and the Edmonton Oilers were a natural fit in free agency this year.
Brown, 29, found himself in a unique situation as a veteran of over 400 NHL games. Having torn his ACL after just four games this past season, he was eligible to sign a contract typically reserved for players 35 years or older.
It allowed him to ink a deal costing Edmonton just $775,000 against the salary cap — at least for this year. The remainder of Brown’s contract for this season, $3.25-million, to be exact, comes in the form of a performance bonus.
According to TSN’s Ryan Rishaug, that bonus will be met after Brown plays in his 10th game this season.
Prior to this season, Brown has remained relatively healthy throughout his career. He played in every game between 2016-17 and 2020-21 — a stretch of five years. In 2021-22, his final with the Ottawa Senators, Brown had missed 18 games due to COVID-19, a broken jaw, and a later undisclosed injury.
If Brown hits his performance bonus, which he likely will given his strong health before a string of terrible luck, some of that money will apply to the Edmonton Oilers’ cap in 2023-24.
According to PuckPedia, “any performance bonuses earned are added to the final cap hit number for the season, and the amount that total is over (the NHL’s salary cap) is the bonus carryover overage for next year. A GM may choose to create some space during the year so that when that end-of-season calculation happens, the bonuses earned do not put the total over the (salary cap).”
As day one of free agency wraps up, the Oilers have $6.382-million in cap space, according to PuckPedia and still need to sign RFA’s Evan Bouchard, Ryan McLeod, Raphael Lavoie and Oliver Rodrigues. PuckPedia’s projection accounts for 19 players on the active roster.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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