The Los Angeles Kings’ second Stanley Cup victory will end up being quite a bit more lucrative for players than the first.
In the time between when they lifted the trophy in 2012 and again last week, the NHL’s playoff bonus pool was doubled to $13 million as part of the new collective bargaining agreement. What that means for the Kings is that they will soon receive $3.75 million to distribute among themselves.
Precisely how that money is split up varies from team to team — roster sizes aren’t consistent and some choose to include Black Aces in their winning share — but every Kings regular can expect to receive in excess of $100,000 following an historical playoff run.
Additionally, Los Angeles forward Justin Williams will take home a $250,000 bonus for winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
Each of the 16 teams that qualified for the post-season receives something. The New York Rangers, for example, are due to split a $2.25-million bonus among players following their loss in the five-game Stanley Cup final.
All NHL players are paid their salary over 13 bimonthy paycheques from October to mid-April. Therefore, they aren't directly compensated by teams at a time of year when the hockey tends to be at its best.
The total playoff pool is due to grow to $17 million before the current CBA expires and none of the money paid out of it affects a team's standing with the salary cap. It is simply a bonus in every sense of the word.
Just ask the Kings.
A breakdown of how the Stanley Cup playoff bonus pool was divided up this season
President’s Trophy winner (Boston): $500,000
First round losers (Colorado, Dallas, San Jose, St. Louis, Columbus, Detroit, Tampa, Philadelphia): $250,000 each
Second round losers (Minnesota, Anaheim, Pittsburgh, Boston): $500,000 each
Third round losers (Chicago, Montreal): $1.25 million each
Stanley Cup finalist (N.Y. Rangers): $2.25 million
Stanley Cup champion (Los Angeles): $3.75-million