The Edmonton Oilers announced that they have reached an eight-year, 100-million dollar, contract extension with 2015 number one draft pick, Connor McDavid on Wednesday.
The new deal will kick in before the start of the 2018-2019 National Hockey League, as the 20-year-old captain is in the final year of his entry-level contract as the Oilers prepare for the upcoming 2017-2018 season. When the contact begins next season, McDavid’s annual average value of 12.5 million per season, will have the highest salary cap hit in the league.
McDavid said, “It is insane to really think about, someone is going to pay me 100 million dollars to do what I am going to do what I would do on a regular day; it is insane. It is very special, and to do that in Edmonton makes it even better.”
According to CapFriendly.com, Chicago Blackhawks forwards, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane currently have the highest cap hit in the NHL, for the 2017-2018 season, at 10.5 million dollars. Montreal Canadiens goaltender, Carey Price, who just signed an eight-year extension over the weekend, will have an AAV of 10.5 million dollars beginning in 2018.
McDavid added, “For me, it just makes me want to be better, it just makes me want to work harder. You want to earn that money. You do not want to be somebody that signs a deal and kind of shuts it down, that is not going to be me at all. It is only driving me more.”
By signing the extension, he avoids worrying about becoming a restricted free agent next July 1st. He said, “You see guys go through years where it is their contract year; I saw [Tampa Bay Lightning captain] Steven Stamkos go through it firsthand and I know him pretty well. I do not think it is very fun. It is not fun to answer that question every day you come to the rink: `Is there any updates, is there any of this?’”
He went on to say, “For me, getting it done early shows a sign that I want to be here, there was no hesitation, it is not even a thought, I want to be here in Edmonton, and I think getting it done early shows that.”
This past season, the 2015-2016 Calder Trophy winner, put up 100 points (30 goals and 70 assists), as he led the league in scoring during his sophomore season. The 2017 Hart Trophy winner (Most Valuable Player), and 2017 Ted Lindsay Award recipient (top player chosen by his peers), helped lead the Oilers to a second-place finish in the Pacific Division and the club’s first appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs after in nearly a decade.
Through 127 games in his young NHL career, he has scored 46 goals and 102 assists. He has also added five goals and four helpers in 13 postseason games.
Oilers general manager, Peter Chiarelli pretty much made getting McDavid signed to an extension a top priority for the Oilers, so as not to have any worries as it got closer to next summer when he would become a RFA.
Chiarelli said, “This may be one of the largest contracts ever given in the NHL, but I can assure you, it could be a lot higher in value and shorter in term. Building a team to win the Stanley Cup was a constant discussion point in this negotiation.”
Oilers forward, Leon Draisaitl, became a RFA on July 1st. The organization said that they will match any offer sheet that Draisaitl may receive from one of the other 30 clubs.
Now that Chiarelli has completed the extension with McDavid, he can shift his focus on getting Draisaitl locked down in Edmonton as well. He believes the deal with his captain, helps to give the club some more flexibility to continue to build the club around McDavid.
The 21-year-old, Draisaitl, put up 29 goals and 48 assists during the 2016-2017 season. The general manager said, “Any time you enter July 1, with a player of Leon’s caliber unsigned, there is always that chatter of offer sheets across all of the networks. We are in a comfortable position and will match any offer.”
The team has about 17.9 million dollars wriggle room under the 75-million-dollar cap for the 2017-2018 season.
The Oilers did lose center David Desharnais on Wednesday after the New York Rangers gave him a one-year, one-million-dollar deal.
In 49 games between the Oilers and Canadiens, Desharnais, put up six goals and eight assists. He added four more points in the Oilers’ 13 postseason games.
The 31-year-old center felt the Rangers were the right fit for him, after they lost center Derek Stepan in a trade to the Arizona Coyotes and the Vegas Golden Knights claimed Oscar Lindberg in the expansion draft.
Desharnais said, “They lose two centers, so they only have two centers [Mika Zibanejab and Kevin Hayes], so that is a good opportunity for me to come and have a little bit of ice time and show what I can do. I feel like it was a good fit.”
The undrafted free agent, signed with the Canadiens back on November 5, 2008 and has put up 81 goals and 173 assists through 453 games between Montreal and Edmonton. In 51 Stanley Cup Playoff games, he added, four goals and 13 assists throughout his career.