Oil­ers reach eight-year deal with phe­nom

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS -

The Ed­mon­ton Oil­ers paid a huge price to lock up superstar cap­tain Con­nor McDavid, but it could have been even higher.

The Oil­ers an­nounced Wed­nes­day that the team and McDavid have agreed to an eight-year ex­ten­sion with an av­er­age an­nual value of US$12.5 mil­lion. That makes the 20-yearold league MVP the high­est paid player in the NHL on an an­nual ba­sis, but it’s about $750,000 a year less than what re­ports last week fig­ured he would be get­ting.

“It eas­ily could have been a lot higher in value and shorter in term,” Oil­ers gen­eral man­ager Peter Chiarelli said.

McDavid’s ex­ten­sion kicks in af­ter he fin­ishes the fi­nal year of his en­try-level deal next sea­son. If the NHL’s salary cap stays at its cur­rent level of $75 mil­lion, McDavid’s salary alone would take up 16.6 per cent of the Oil­ers’ al­lowed salary.

But any cap re­lief would be wel­come to Ed­mon­ton. The Oil­ers are also work­ing to re-sign ris­ing star Leon Drai­saitl.

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