It isn’t finalized yet, but Connor McDavid’s new deal with the Edmonton Oilers is in the neighbourhood of $13.25 million for eight years. (Neither the Oilers nor McDavid’s agent, Jeff Jackson, would comment.) That’s a win for everyone. While some gawk at the total number of zero’s in the contract, his figure is not as astronomical as some would believe.

Examining several players salary in proportion to the cap will assist in portraying the economic landscape surrounding this decision.

Alex Ovechkin’s Washington extension was 19 per cent of the cap when he signed it in 2009. Crosby’s second contract was 17.3 per cent while Evgeni Malkin’s was 15.3 of the salary cap. McDavid is at 17.6, but that’s assuming zero growth in the contemporary era. Going into next year, it will be 12.7 per cent for Ovechkin and 11.6 for Crosby, with the cap remaining at 75 Million.

With the Salary Cap where it is, McDavid is truly taking what he is due, and may in fact be giving the Oilers a deal.

Edmonton is in a bit of a predicament. In a salary cap era, the only way the salary cap can go up is increasing revenue in the league. If Draisaitl and McDavid are signed for a combined 20 Million, they will make up over 25% of their teams cap combined. Lucic adds another 9% or so. On a 20+ man roster, the three highest earning players will make up over a third of the current salary cap. Keep in mind, more league revenue will mean that the cap will increase. But it is harder to measure and predict.

I have predicted below several contracts, and frankly lowballed them in the interest of perspective. Draisaitl should sign for more than 6.5 Million. He was 8th in scoring in the league and made a huge impact in both the regular season and the playoffs. Lucic makes 6, so assume Draisaitl AT MINIMUM makes that.

Connor McDavid is the best player in hockey. He was able to end a playoff drought in Edmonton, put the team on his back and recorded 100 points this season. McDavid’s new contract would also be the third richest in total dollars to only Alex Ovechkin’s $124 million and Shea Weber’s $110 million – but those deals covered 13 and 14 seasons. Under the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement instituted in 2013, eight years is the maximum contract length.

The Oilers need to lock McDavid down for the max of 8 years. He will be a perennial league leader in points and is still continuing to develop his game. He is the face of the franchise, and if his play continues will be the face of the league. Crosby is the best winner in the game, and arguably the most skilled, but McDavid’s game is diversifying and maturing beyond expectations.

Interestingly, Crosby’s first contract is the template for McDavids. If approved, McDavid’s Cap hit at 17.6 will be almost identical to Crosby’s contract at the time of signing. Ironically, both players captured the hardware hat trick in their second season leading up to their new contracts: Hart Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award and Art Ross, leading into the end of their entry level deals.

So the circumstances of McDavid’s contract are not entirely otherworldly. Crosby’s contract at 8.7 Million was not nearly as criticized as McDavid’s hypothetical extension, and is proportionally similar. He’s the most talented young player in the league, he deserves to be paid like it.

Assuming all goes well, McDavid should be signed by Canada Day, July 1st.

2018-19 Potential Cap – 75,000,000
Cap Remaining after Contract
Player Contract 75,000,000
Connor McDavid (Potential) $13250000 61,750,000
Leon Draisaitl (Potential) $6,500,000 55,250,000
Cam Talbot $4,166,667 51,083,333
Milan Lucic $6,000,000 45,083,333
Ryan Strome  (Potential) $4000000 41,083,333
Sekera, Andrej $5,500,000 35,583,333
Klefbom, Oscar $4,167,000 31,416,333
Larsson, Adam $4,166,667 27,249,666
Russell, Kris $4,000,000 23,249,666
Average Salary $4,666,722
Average Salary Remaining for 12 players $1,937,472

 

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