Source: NHL to pay out $300M in signing bonuses as scheduled

NHL players who are due signing bonuses on July 1 are expected to be paid as scheduled, a source told ESPN.

There is more than $300 million due to be paid to players on Wednesday, with the Toronto Maple Leafs leading the league with roughly $60 million owed. Contracts structured with large signing bonuses have been in vogue in the NHL the past several years.

Maple Leafs forwards Auston Matthews ($15.2 million) and Mitch Marner ($14.3 million) will receive the largest payments. Connor McDavid (Oilers) is third in the NHL at $13 million, and Artemi Panarin (Rangers) is fourth at $12 million, according to CapFriendly.com.

The agreement to pay players and not defer was made Tuesday between the NHL and NHLPA. The two sides are in ongoing negotiations about the league's plan to restart with a 24-team tournament in two hub cities this summer. The sides have yet to finalize the health and safety protocols for games or announce the hub cities.

Sources told ESPN that Toronto, Edmonton, Las Vegas and Chicago remain in the mix, though there is momentum for two Canadian hub cities to be chosen, given the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in several U.S. states.

The NHL and NHLPA are hoping to announce a collective bargaining agreement extension in the coming days.