Oilers Re-Sign Connor McDavid
The Edmonton Oilers today announced the signing of team captain Connor McDavid to an eight-year, $100 million contract extension.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid’s new deal goes into effect on July 1, 2018. The annual average value is $12.5 million, eclipsing the previous league high of $10.5 million shared by Chicago Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.
It’s also been reported that $86 million of that $100 million is a signing bonus. If the salary cap for 2018-19 remains at $75 million, McDavid’s cap hit will take up 16.6 percent of the Oilers’ salary cap space.
The only surprising news here is McDavid’s new deal is actually worth a little less than the $13.25 million that he was originally rumored to receive. He apparently wasn’t comfortable with it being that much and settled for a little less.
Most Oilers fans are likely rejoicing over this deal, and for good reason. After nearly three decades of seeing their best players depart because the Oilers couldn’t, or wouldn’t, pay up to retain them, McDavid’s new contract ensures he’s not going anywhere after his entry-level contract expires next year.
They’ve also got him locked up throughout the bulk of his playing prime. So unless something happens where McDavid or the Oilers seek a trade, he’ll be in Edmonton until he’s 29.
McDavid’s critics, of course, will be quick to pounce upon this as yet another example of a greedy young player taking on far too much money when he hasn’t really established himself yet as a true NHL superstar. It’s the same nonsense that was aimed at Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby a decade ago when he signed a five-year deal worth $8.7 million per season.
Some will say McDavid should’ve left more money on the table to ensure the Oilers could build up the talent base around him. TSN’s Scott Cullen has the perfect retort:
It’s so hockey that Connor McDavid takes less on his next contract, to ensure that inferior players get paid more than they deserve.
— Scott Cullen (@tsnscottcullen) July 5, 2017
The bottom line is McDavid was the NHL’s best player during the 2016-17 regular season. He’s got the Hart Trophy, Art Ross Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award to prove it.
Over the next nine seasons, McDavid could become the NHL’s best player, piling up more individual honors and perhaps a Stanley Cup championship or two. The Oilers certainly seem to believe it.
Nobody forced them to make this move. They did it happily, with no apparent concern over possible salary-cap issues down the road. If they have any worries, they’re keeping them well hidden.
To paraphrase pro wrestler Ric Flair, “To play the man, you gotta pay the man.” The Oilers want McDavid playing in Edmonton for a long time and were willing to pony up the big bucks to make it happen.
Time will tell if McDavid’s big contract is worth it. If he becomes the league’s dominant player for the next decade and brings a Stanley Cup championship back to Edmonton during that time, it’ll be money well spent.