Players between the ages of 18 and 21 must sign "entry-level" contracts for their first three NHL seasons. Those aged 22-23 are entry-level players for two years, those aged 24 for a single year.
An entry-level player can earn a maximum of $850,000 per year. The limit rises throughout the agreement, to $925,000 in 2011. Maximum entry-level salary in 2004 was $1.295 million.
Signing bonuses are capped at 10 percent of the player's salary. Under the old deal, signing bonuses for entry-level players were capped at 50 percent of base salary.
Performance bonuses can be earned at two levels. The first level covers individual benchmarks such as goals scored, goaltender wins, and so on. The maximum a player can earn at this level is believed to be around $850,000 per year. The second level is for much rarer achievements, like winning a major NHL award or ranking among the NHL's top players in a statistical catregory. The maximum a player can earn at this level is estimated at $2 million per year. Performance bonuses under the old agreement were subject to few limits.
With some exceptions, performance bonuses are paid by the league and do not count against a team's salary cap. But they do count in calculating the league-wide share of player revenue.