Artemi Panarin
AP Photo

The New York Rangers contract with star Artemi Panarin is front-loaded with signing bonuses totaling $74.5 million.

Frank Curto

Show me the money! That’s exactly what the New York Rangers did when the signed Artemi Panarin to a seven-year, $81.5 million contract on Monday.

But wait, there is another astonishing surprise that came with this deal. A breakdown of the contract provided by Capfriendly.com indicates that Panrin will receive $74.5 million in signing bonuses.

Also, all seven years of the contract comes with a no-move clause.

The breakdown by year of Panarin’s contract looks like this;

19-20: $13M SB -$1M base
20-21: $12M SB -$1M base
21-22: $12M SB -$1M base
22-23: $11.5M SB -$1M base
23-24: $10M SB -$1M base
24-25: $9M SB -$1M base
25-26: $7M SB-$1M base

This kind of contract has become more prevalent recently. Carolina Hurricanes Sebastian Aho was given an offer sheet by the Montreal Canadiens on Monday. That offer was a five-year deal for $42.270 million with $38.620 million in signing bonuses. The Hurricanes matched the offer and signed Aho to the contract.

The reasoning behind these contracts is due to the concern of a potential work stoppage (lockout) that could occur in 2020.

New York Rangers

The current collective bargaining agreement ends after the 2021-22 season. The NHL can opt out of it on Sept. 1 of this year. If it chooses not to, then the NHLPA has the option to do the same. If either opt out, then the CBA ends in September 2020.

Signing bonuses are paid regardless of work stoppages, so Panarin would still collect his $12-million bonus while his $1-million base salary for that season would take the hit depending how long the two sides take to work out their differences.

Another way of describing this unusual scenario would be to say the owners get their cake and eat it too.

It’s a tough way to negotiate finances between players, owners and the league when all this money is continued to be paid out while there are no games being played on the ice.

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