Oilers' Connor McDavid signs 8-year, $100M extension
'I'm in it for the long haul and I want to win here'
The Edmonton Oilers have made Connor McDavid the highest paid player in the NHL with an eight-year contract extension that will pay him an average $12.5 million per season.
"I'm in it for the long haul and I want to win here," McDavid told reporters Wednesday.
The $100-million deal won't kick in until the 2018-19 season. McDavid is currently in the final year of his entry-level contract.
Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli said the team could have paid McDavid more per season over a shorter contract term, but McDavid was unwavering in his commitment to stay with the Oilers for the maximum eight-year term.
"This may be one of the largest contracts ever given in the NHL, but I can assure you, it could easily have been a lot higher in value and shorter in term," he said.
He compared the contract to a partnership between the team and McDavid.
"Building a team to win the Stanley Cup was a constant discussion point in this negotiation," Chiarelli said.
Ice a winning team
He also praised McDavid's character.
"He wants us to ice a winning team."
McDavid would not say how the two sides decided on the $12.5 million per year rather than the $13.5 million most media was quoting in stories last week.
"It really doesn't matter how we got to a number … the important thing is I'll be here for the next nine years and I couldn't be more happy about it."
Asked if the amount puts pressure on him, McDavid agreed.
"It just makes me want to be better, it just makes me want to work harder," he said. "I really want to earn that money."
McDavid said coming to a total was a balancing act.
'You only get one career'
"You only get one career and you need to make the most money that you can. You need to look after yourself and your family.
"Obviously $100 million is more than enough to do that. At the same time you want to be part of a winning team."
McDavid told reporters he is proud to be able to wear the Oilers jersey and that last year's playoff run left him with a sense of "unfinished business."
The Oilers reached the playoffs for the first time in a decade last season, eliminating San Jose before falling in seven games to Anaheim.
McDavid, 20, earned the Art Ross trophy for leading the NHL in scoring last season, the Hart trophy as league MVP and the Ted Lindsay Award as most "outstanding" player as voted by his peers.