EDMONTON, ALBERTA—Great news, Oilers fans! Last year’s league leader in points and team captain will be sticking around until 2025.
Connor McDavid, 20, closed an eight-year, $100 million deal with Edmonton on Wednesday, July 5. At $12.5 million per year, his salary is now the highest pending one in the NHL. It exceeds that of Chicago Blackhawks forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, as well as Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, whose caps are listed $10.5 million per season (Price’s beginning in 2018-2019). McDavid has one year remaining on his three-year entry contract. On July 1, he was eligible to sign an extension and would have become a restricted free agent at the end of next season had he chosen not to.
In 82 games last season, McDavid, the first overall pick of the 2015 NHL Draft, collected 100 points comprised of 30 goals and 70 assists, nearly doubling his statistics and number of games played from the previous season, as he sustained a broken collarbone. As a rookie, he appeared in 45 games and tallied 48 points, comprised of 16 goals and 32 assists.
McDavid helped the Oilers advance to the playoffs for the first time since 2006, where he appeared in 13 games and totaled nine points (five goals and four assists) before they were knocked out by the Anaheim Ducks in the second round.
He won the Art Ross Trophy (for the player who leads the NHL in points each year), the Hart Trophy (most valuable player in the NHL), and the Ted Lindsay Award (MVP as voted by fans).
“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. It’s very special, and to do that in Edmonton makes it even better. For me, it just makes me want to be better, it just makes me want to work harder,” McDavid said in a statement.
“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. 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 added.
“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. 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. It happens fast. 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.”