NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 29, 2017

by | Jun 29, 2017 | News, NHL | 20 comments

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid could receive a significant pay raise on his next contract.

Connor McDavid could get a big pay raise, an update on Dion Phaneuf & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

SPORTSNET: Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid could sign an eight-year contract extension with the club worth $13.25 million per season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some observers could take McDavid and his agent to task for seeking such a lucrative contract. I’ve seen a few folks on Twitter attempting to disparage the McDavid camp by comparing his rumored new salary-cap hit to what Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby ($8.7 million annually) and Washington’s Alex Ovechkin ($9.5 million) received following the completion of their ELCs.

However, the percentage of McDavid’s potential new annual cap hit would be similar to what Crosby and Ovechkin received coming off their ELCs. McDavid’s annual average value would be around 18 percent of the Oilers’ $75 million cap ceiling for 2018-19 (assuming a flat cap for that season. It could be higher). When Crosby’s five-year deal kicked in back in 2008-09, it was just over 15 percent of the Penguins’ $56.7 million salary-cap maximum for that season, while Ovechkin’s 13-year contract was worth around 17 percent of the Capitals’ cap ceiling in its first season.

Besides, what are the Oilers to do? Not pay their franchise player top dollar? Play hardball with the guy who could lead them back to championship glory? If they’re willing to pony up over $13 million annually to lock up McDavid during his playing prime, so be it. Should he reach all expectations and take over as the NHL’s top player over that period, it’ll be money well spent. 

TSN’s Darren Dreger reports the Ottawa Senators intend to keep defenseman Dion Phaneuf. “Inquiries slowed after the Draft in Chicago and more so once Methot was traded to Dallas.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Phaneuf’s partial no-trade clause also complicated things. Reports indicated the teams with interest in him weren’t on his list of acceptable trade destinations. 

OTTAWA SUN: Speaking of the Senators, they re-signed goaltender Mike Condon to a three-year, $7.2 million contract ($2.4 million annual cap hit).

STLTODAY.COM: St. Louis Blues center Patrik Berglund underwent surgery on his left shoulder and will be sidelined until December.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The Rangers re-signed defenseman Brendan Smith to a four-year, $17.4 million contract. It’s worth an annual cap hit of $4.35 million.

BSN DENVER: The Colorado Avalanche re-signed forward Sven Andrighetto to a two-year, $2.8 million contract. 

BOSTON HERALD: The Bruins re-signed forward Noel Acciari to a two-year deal worth $725K per season. 

MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings re-signed defensemen Dylan McIlrath and Brian Lashoff to two-year contracts. 

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks hired Steve Konowalchuk and Mark Morrison as assistant coaches. 

TSN: Rick Westhead reports of ongoing internal squabbling within the NHL Players Association. “In front of the 30 players in attendance in downtown Toronto, NHLPA special assistant to the executive director Mathieu Schneider and union lawyer Bruce Meyer condemned player agents Anton Thun, Ritch Winter and Kurt Overhardt, according to sources with knowledge of the meeting.” The trio were accused of “misleading clients when they said the NHLPA has stonewalled requests for information about union finances.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: On the one hand, this could be poisonous for association unity leading up to what could be another nasty labor dispute with the league if either side exercises its early opt-out option from the current collective bargaining agreement in September 2019, which could lead to another lockout a year later. On the other hand, it might be worthwhile to address these disputes now so that they don’t become toxic before squaring off with the league in three year’s time. 



  1. McDavid getting $13M is ridiculous. Crosby and Ovechkin’s contracts are only comparable if we can count on the cap going up, and significantly. If the cap flat lines or goes down that McDavid’s contract will crush the Oilers for the next decade. And Ovechkin’s contract is also probably toxic and immovable to this day as it was 5 or so years ago when there was talk of trading him.

    And yes, they should play hardball as opposed to rolling over like a dog. He’s coming on an entry level contract and we’re not paying $13M for two good seasons. Sign him to 3 years at $7M.

    • Mcdavid is same percentage of cap as when Crosby signed

      • And Crosby and Malkin’s contracts would have been toxic but for the fact that the cap when up substantially. If the cap didn’t go up, in all likelihood Pittsburgh is a top heavy team in terms of salary and doesn’t with either Cup.

    • I don’t understand why so many people take the team’s side on this. McDavid’s value is far higher than 13.25. The CBA limits his salary. He deserves every penny of the max. Sid took a deep discount on his deal, but where does that money really go…to overpaying decent players like Hagelin, Cole, etc. Average is overpaid in this leagues and the true stars are under paid. That’s about to change.

      • Ike:
        I realize this is probably too late to respond to but I’ll do it anywy;)
        I can’t speak for other people, but for me it’s not about what he’s worth in a free economi. He might be worth 100m$/y and if Oilers feel they can afford that then go ahead! Now the NHL has limited that and your cap hit – no matter the number – actually effect your overall team.
        Yes, Kane and Toews might be worth 10,5 each – but don’t you think Blackhawks would be better with them and Saad,sharp,hjalmarsson and Panarin? That’s the effect… now when players sign this kind of contracts they also sign that the team that you play for can’t keep good players! They might even sign “we will probably have hard time to compete for a cup” as well – and the players know this – they just don’t care.

      • @Adoe

        I completely agree. In addition, I’ll add two things:

        1. Every dollar McDavid takes is one dollar less that the Oilers have to give to his teammates. If Kane and Toews had taken even $1M less per season, that would be an extra $2M they could have used to keep around some of their other players.

        2. It now sets the precedent on team. Every contract thereafter will be tied to McDavid’s. And too much in hockey is intangible and immeasurable.

  2. Interesting to note on McDavid’s contract that when it expires, he’ll be only what 28/29; and ready for another big payday

  3. McDavid deserves what he’s getting through his play, but also what he brings in marketing to the franchise.
    The real crime is Brenden Smith’s contract. He’s worth half that. Maybe.

  4. if you were running a team, and you had the best player in the league, and has his entire career ahead of him, why wouldn’t you do everything in your power to keep him long-term (8 years) and make him happy by giving him as much as you can? why would you piss off your franchise center and only offer $8M per ?

    • You should not piss him off, he should know the effect a contract like this will have on his team. You should argue that “well, if you want to win a cup, you might want to lower your price a tad! I’m sure you’ll be fine with 100m$ deals from reebok or whatever aswell” 🙂

  5. Is Connor McDavid worth $13.25m per season? I don’t look at what Crosby or Ovie or what anybody else received. This is just about Connor and the Oilers. The question for me is, does using 18% of your payroll hinder butting a championship calibre team on the ice? Because at the end of the day all players are happy with McDavid contract onward and upwards. Us as fans do we really care about how much a guy makes or do we just want the team to win. I would say I care to the point of impact of what is left to pay the other guys, can we get the player we need to put us over the top or do we have the cap space to do it?
    Yesterday I read and heard that by the time his contract is up this will be a steal of a deal for Edmonton, because the cap will go up by $2m per season, so in year 7 of the contract will be sitting $89m salary cap, $14m more then today.
    Chicago hasn’t seen that since signing their two guys and as we know success means raises and other guys want the money as well.
    What that gap between McDavid and Draisaitl, who didn’t win any awards but more was effective in the playoffs them Connor. Will he be happy by signing a contract that pays him $6m per season less then McDavid? Should it be a factor and will it be a factor time will tell.
    Much of the Salary cap is based on the Canadian Dollar, which most experts believe will get weaker before it gets stronger. Oil plays a big roll in that and the Barrel isn’t going up the way most would hope and they speculate it will be at least two years before it does. Interesting stats is less of the Y generation are concerned about driving, it isn’t a big issue for them as it was for the baby boomers. With the New President wanting to put levy on Canadian Lumber and who knows what next, this all impact the Canadian dollar, which will directly impact the salary cap and for me the fan, that is the only reason I would care about what percentage of the payroll is one player using because it impacts every other player and player decisions on the team. But I wouldn’t be paying more with a false pretence of the salary cap increase will relieve the team pressure of the ability sign other key players.

  6. Brendan Smith fit in well and played above his talent for two rounds but I agree its too much per year. 3million would of been correct

  7. It’s not Mcdavid’s contract… it’s Nugent Hopkins and Russells that are the issue

    • Well, a bad contract is a bad contract. But this is paying for the name with a cap hit of north of 4m/y – that could be a solid player!
      He is not 18% of this team..

  8. As an Oilers fan, I think $13 million for McDavid will severely limit the Oilers ability to compete for cups for many years. I thought a guy like Connor would have seen it that way. I know everyone is talking about percentage of salary cap, but it is also worth acknowledging that this would give connor the highest cap hit by more than $2.5 million. As far as I know, Crosby has never even been the highest paid player. He has always left money on the table in favour of having a better shot at the cup. I’m disappointed that McDavid doesn’t see it that way. Draisaitl based on comparables is probably getting 7 or 7.5, but when you throw in McDavid’s contract I think they will definitely argue against a $6 million gap. The two contracts collectively will severely handicap the team. I hope I’m wrong.

  9. Haha, here I thought McDavid were at least a little humble! Hahhaha
    Well, good luck oilers with McDavid and random rookies at key positions who shouldn’t even play in the NHL. So McDavids only goal in hockey is cash? I really thought he felt he could support himself and his family with 9,5m$/y but you know.. you can’t buy 300 cars a year on that salary so…
    This contract, if true, will be an actual toxic contract EVEN if he is the best player in the world each year of that contract.

  10. While I think the McDavid $13M contract is ridiculous, one thing I will say is if you’re going to gamble on a high dollar long term contract, do it when you’re buying up the player’s best year like Edmonton is doing.

    DON’T do like the Kings did and sign Kopitar to a ridiculous contract by buying up a few remaining good years and a lot of declining play bad years.

    If people think Brown’s contract is bad, wait a few years and see. Kopitar’s contract will dwarf Brown’s in terms of toxicity.

    • Kopitars contract is also stupid. I laughed like hell when I read he would get 10m/y for 8.
      First thought was: oh, 1, maybe 2 more playoffs for them in 8years!

  11. Off topic, and with regret to say that Dave Semenko has passed away at age 59 from cancer.R.I.P.

  12. With Benoit Pouliot now being bought out and McDavid is set for $13.25 Mil, I wonder if that means that Draisatl is going to get $10 Mil per season?