On the first day of free agency this past summer, the San Jose Sharks signed forward Mikkel Boedker to a 4-year, $16M contract ($4M average annual value (AAV)). The breakdown per year of the contract was $5M/$5M/$3M/$3M with a $1M signing bonus included in Boedker’s salary for the first two years of the deal. A few days later, the now defunct General Fanager reported that the NHL had rejected San Jose’s contract with Boedker as it violated the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Specifically, it violated the league’s 35% variability rule (Rule 50.7(a)). San Jose was able to shift salary from one year to another to satisfy the league’s variability rule and to keep the contract’s length and cap hit the same. Boedker’s contract now is broken down at $5.2M/$4.8M/$3M/$3M per year.