Sports Outside the Beltway

Playoffs mean big payday for Ed Belfour

A playoff appearance for the Florida Panthers would be very profitable for the veteran goaltender.

Goaltender Ed Belfour will earn more money in incentives than salary if the Panthers are able to make the playoffs this season, contract figures obtained from an NHL source have revealed.

Those incentive earnings drop significantly, however, if the team fails to reach the post-season.

Florida entered Saturday’s game against the New York Islanders seven points out of eighth place.

In addition to his $750,000 base salary, Belfour’s deal includes the following incentives:

• $5,000 for every game in which he is dressed;

• $5,000 for every game in which he plays, and;

• $5,000 for every win.

Belfour has dressed for every game and played in his 51st game Saturday. He had a 22-16-8 record with a 2.74 goals-against average and .903 save percentage.

The incentives for games played and wins are cut in half, to $2,500, however, if the Panthers fail to make the playoffs.

At his current pace, Belfour figures to earn $410,000 for dressing for all 82 games, and, if the Panthers make the playoffs, at least $300,000 for playing in 60 games and at least $125,000 for winning 25 games, for a total of $825,000.

If the Panthers’ playoff run falls short, his incentives would total about $625,000, bringing his total earnings to about $1.375 million.


Dominik Hasek, at 43 the only goaltender older than the 41-year-old Belfour, also has a $750,000 base salary.

The Panthers are truly trying to ride Belfour to the playoffs, with Alex Auld out for the season and Craig Anderson who has played like a minute all season as the only other option, Belfour set a consecutive game streak at goalie last night in a Panther 8-5 win over the New York Islanders.

Jokinen’s third-period heroics allowed the Panthers’ 41-year-old goaltender, Ed Belfour, to enjoy his franchise record-setting 23rd straight start, which should increase to 24 on Tuesday night at the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Panthers, who have 10 games left to play, look as if they plan to ride Belfour’s back right to the playoffs. If the team makes it, Belfour’s consecutive game streak will extend into the high 30′s at least.

Is that asking alot from a goalie who is 41 years old? I’m thinking it could be. Belfour has given up 10 goals over the last two games.

This is all speculation, the Panthers stand seven points behind in the chase for the 8th and final playoff birth in the Eastern Conference. Even if the Panthers win every game in from this point, the team may still not make the playoffs for the first time since the 99-00 season.

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