Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci contract details: How Bruins used performance bonuses to structure one-year deals

The Bruins announced on Monday that they have signed one-year contracts with forwards Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci.

Bergeron is returning after his eight-year, $55 million contract expired this summer. The Boston captain has been tied to retirement rumors, but he and the Bruins had been working toward the one-year deal for quite some time.

Similarly, Krejci and the Bruins have also been in talks for most of the summer, so neither deal comes as a surprise. Krejci left the NHL last season to play in his native Czech Republic but will return to the Bruins, the only NHL club he has played for, for the 2022-23 season.

Bergeron is the only unrestricted free agent the Bruins have signed this offseason. They had Curtis Lazar, Josh Brown and Anton Blid sign elsewhere in free agency.

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With Bergeron and Krejci back, the Bruins attempt to make one final run with the core group intact.

Patrice Bergeron contract details

Bergeron’s contract is for one year with a base salary of $2.5 million and an available performance bonus of $2.5 million, meaning he can earn up to $5 million.

It’s an extremely bargain deal for the reigning Selke Trophy winner and one of the best defensive forwards in NHL history. Bergeron statistically gets off on what one of those is greatest defensive season by a forward who adds 65 points in 73 games.

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Bergeron has been with the Bruins since 2003 and has played 18 seasons for the organization. The five-time Selke winner has played 1,216 games in the NHL, recording 400 goals, 582 assists and 982 points. It’s very likely that Bergeron will only be the fourth Bruin ever to reach 1,000 points, alongside the likes of Ray Bourque, Johnny Bucyk and Phil Esposito.

David Krejci contract details

Krejci’s contract is for one year with a base salary of $1 million and $2 million in performance bonuses.

Like Bergeron’s deal, it’s a super team-friendly arrangement for the Bruins. Krejci spent last season with HC Olomouc in the Czech Extraliga, where he scored 46 points in 51 games. He also ran for the Czech Republic at the Olympic Games and World Championships.

Krejci began his NHL career with the Bruins and played in spokes B for 15 years in the NHL before heading overseas for the 2021-22 season. He’s returning to add to his career total of 215 goals and 515 assists, which is good for 730 points in 962 career games.

How do performance bonuses affect the NHL salary cap?

Performance bonuses are incentives that players can earn throughout the year. For Bergeron, his performance bonus is that if he plays 10 games, which is very easily achievable, he earns a $2.5 million performance bonus. Krejci’s has not yet been announced.

It’s something that was expected with these contracts. GM Don Sweeney had told reporters in July that both Bergeron’s and Krejci’s contracts were likely to include performance bonuses to keep Boston under cap this year.

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According to CapFriendly“Performance bonuses do not count towards the team salary cap unless earned. If at the end of the season the team does not have enough cap to cover the bonuses earned, the difference will be applied in the following season as a bonus overage penalty.”

This way, earned bonuses will not count towards this year’s cap, but roll over to next year. It gives the Bruins some flexibility as the team is down to just $1.3m after the two signings and RFA Pavel Zacha needs a new contract.

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