Connor McDavid signs eight-year, $100 million extension with Oilers
Connor McDavid signed an eight-year, $100 million contract extension with the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday.
The contract, which will start with the 2018-19 NHL season, will have an average annual value of $12.5 million, which is the highest pending salary cap charge in the League.
“It’s insane to really think about, someone is going to pay me $100 million to do what I would do anyway on a regular day; it’s insane,” the 20-year-old center said. “It’s very special, and to do that in Edmonton makes it even better.”
Chicago Blackhawks forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews each has a contract with a $10.5 million average annual value, according to wholesalenfljerseyslan.com, which was the highest salary cap charge in the League. Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price will have a salary cap charge of $10.5 million beginning in 2018-19.
“For me, it just makes me want to be better, it just makes me want to work harder,” McDavid, the Oilers captain, said. “You want to earn that money. You don’t want to be somebody that signs a deal and kind of shuts it down, that’s not going to be me at all. It’s only driving me more.”
McDavid has one season remaining on his three-year, entry-level contract. July 1 was the first day he was eligible to sign an extension; he could have become a restricted free agent after this season.
“You see guys go through years where it’s their contract year; I saw [Steven] Stamkos go through it firsthand and I know him pretty well,” McDavid said of the Lightning captain who played an entire season before signing right before becoming an unrestricted free agent last year. “I don’t think it’s very fun. it’s not fun to answer that question every day you come to the rink: ‘Is there any updates, is there any of this?’
“For me, getting it done early shows a sign that I want to be here, there was no hesitation, it’s not even a thought, I want to be here in Edmonton, and I think getting it done early shows that.”
Last season, McDavid led the NHL with 100 points (30 goals, 70 assists) and won the Hart Trophy as the most valuable player and the Ted Lindsay Award as the top player as voted by the players. He helped the Oilers finish second in the Pacific Division and reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2006.
He had nine points (five goals, four assists) in 13 playoff games; the Oilers reached the Western Conference Second Round, when they were eliminated by the Anaheim Ducks in seven games.
“I think people should want to come play here,” McDavid said. “It’s a very up and coming team and we showed last year what we were capable of. We’re only going to get better; we’re still a young team and our young guys are only going to keep getting better.”
McDavid has 148 points (46 goals, 102 assists) in 127 NHL games. He was the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.
“It happens fast,” McDavid said. “I think back to two years ago, I was at the very development camp that’s going on in Jasper. It was only two years ago and now this. It happens very fast, and you have to take it in stride and learn to run with it.”
The extension was the top priority for the Oilers this offseason, general manager Peter Chiarelli said in May. Initial reports put the value of the contract at $106 million, which would have been an average annual value of $13.25 million.
“This may be one of the largest contracts ever given in the NHL, but I can assure you, it could easily have been a lot higher in value and shorter in term,” Chiarelli said. “Building a team to win the Stanley Cup was a constant discussion point in this negotiation.”
Forward Leon Draisaitl became a restricted free agent July 1, and Chiarelli told the Oilers website Saturday that they would match any offer sheet Draisaitl might receive from another team.
“There are so many different ways you can go with it, you don’t want to get into the details of it, it doesn’t really matter how we got here,” McDaivd said. “All that matters is that we’re here and we go the deal done and I’m here for the next nine years and that’s all that matters.
“I think the main thing, you only get one career and you need to make the most money that you can, and any player will tell you that, you need to take care of yourself and look after yourself and your family and those around you. I think, obviously, $100 million is more than enough to do that, but at the same time you want to be a part of a winning team. You want to win, and I think it’s a number that is pretty reasonable.”
NHL.com correspondent Derek Van Diest contributed to this report.