McDavid signs historic contract with Oilers

July 05, 2017 - 7:11 pm
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As of July 1, 2018, Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid will be the richest player in the National Hockey League.

On Wednesday, McDavid and the Oilers came to terms on a historic eight-year contract extension worth $100 million with an average annual value at $12.5 million. This past season's Hart Trophy winner as the NHL's most valuable player will become the highest paid player in NHL history.

McDavid led the NHL in scoring with 100 points in 82 games in the 2016-17 season, after missing nearly half of his rookie year due to as broken collarbone. His efforts this past season helped lead the Oilers to the playoffs for the first time since the 2005-06 season. However, the Oilers were eliminated in the Western Conference Semifinals at the hands of the Anaheim Ducks.

When it was first reported by Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman that McDavid was looking to sign a long-term extension with the Oilers, the reported terms of the deal were eight years and an average annual value of $13.25 million. However, McDavid leaves some room for the Oilers to be able to get a long-term contract done for teammate Leon Draisaitl.

McDavid was the first selection overall to the Oilers in the 2015 NHL Draft when Edmonton won the Draft Lottery from the third overall slot, beating out the Arizona Coyotes at two and the Buffalo Sabres in the first overall spot.

With the second overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, the Sabres took Jack Eichel. Eichel is in a very similar spot to McDavid right now as he is about to enter the final year of his entry-level deal before becoming a restricted free agent next summer.

Eichel's season was de-railed early on due to a high ankle sprain suffered the night before the home opener against the Montreal Canadiens. When Eichel returned in late November, he ended up finishing the season with 24 goals and 57 points in 61 games played.

In his two seasons thus far, Eichel has 113 points in 142 games played. In his first two seasons with Edmonton, McDavid has 148 points in 127 games.

It will be interesting to see where contract negotiations turn between the Sabres and Eichel now that McDavid has set the bar with his new deal. While it seems very unlikely that Eichel will earn the same AAV of $12.5 million in his next deal, there is a strong possibility that he could earn an AAV up near $10 million or more.

Sabres general manager Jason Botterill has been encouraged with the progress that he has been making with Eichel and his agent Peter Fish.

"Our conversations over the last month or so with Peter Fish have gone very well," Botterill said in his conference call after the acquisition of Marco Scandella and Jason Pominville on Friday. "They understand that we've had a lot go on in our organization, but we've clearly told Peter that we understand how important Jack is to our organization here moving forward. When the time is right, I'm sure we'll be able to get a deal done."

Keep it locked to WGR and WGR550.com with the latest on the Sabres, and if an extension can get done with Eichel before the 2017-18 season begins.

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