Photo Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

How Much Will McDavid’s Next Contract be Worth?

In his end of the year press conference, Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli talked about the offseason signings he has to make in response to a question from the Edmonton Sun’s Terry Jones.

Terry Jones: “Last year you made the Taylor Hall-Larsson trade, are you going forward with an idea of wanting to pull off something resembling that again and where are you at in terms of prioritizing, for example, the signing of Draisaitl and McDavid and the salary cap?”

Peter Chiarelli: “I can’t tell you, Jonesy, if we’re going to do a deal like that again. That was a tough one and I maybe want to take a break for a summer on that one. I say that because I don’t want to delve too much into moving the team’s roster around just because we’ve had some success and you’d like to see it evolve a little bit. Again, order of events is, and we can’t officially sign Connor till July 1st, but it’s going to be Connor then Leon and then we’ve got a cluster of other guys I’d like to have back but I got to get through those. Cap wise we’re ok next year. We could basically stay the same and it’s the following year when Mr. McDavid’s contract will kick in, so I have to be cognizant of that. But we’ve got a lot of different rosters we’ve looked at in the sense that at numbers for specific guys terms but caps expected to stay flat or raise a little bit, so we’re working off a 73, 74, 75 [cap] to see where it’s at. We certainly will have the resources to put another contending team in place.”

Chiarelli’s order of signings goes Connor McDavid first and foremost, then Leon Draisaitl, and then everyone else after that, rightfully so. McDavid is the Oilers’ most important player. Figuring out how much he’ll be paid long-term means Chiarelli knows how much cap room he has to build a championship-caliber team around his team’s generational talent.

In order to find out how much McDavid will be making, lets go back and look at players that compare to McDavid and their second contracts since the salary cap was implemented back in 2005-06.

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McDavid scored 1.17 points-per-game through his first two seasons in the NHL, so we’ll narrow it to players who scored within 25% of McDavid to find a reasonable number for his second contract. We’ll also use points-per-game rather than raw totals since McDavid’s rookie year was cut short due to injury.

First thing first, McDavid doesn’t have a lot of comparables.

McDavid’s closest company is Evgeni Malkin in terms of centres. Although, McDavid’s first two seasons were played in a time where 10% less goals were scored than in Sidney Crosby’s first two years and 4% less than Malkin’s. Thanks to hockey-reference’s Adjusted points feature, which adjusts a player’s scoring in terms of schedule and goals scored, McDavid and Crosby’s rookie seasons adjust to be neck-and-neck, while Crosby’s second year remains the best out of the three.

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Crosby’s second contract had the highest cap hit in terms of the percentage of the salary cap, with Ovechkin’s massive deal coming second. Ovechkin signed for a lower percentage a year later, but for much, much longer. Ovechkin’s contract gave him the highest cap hit in the league, surpassing Jaromir Jagr’s 9.24 miillion, and Crosby’s deal slotted him third overall.

Most signed a five-year second contract after their entry-level contract. This took them right to unrestricted free-agency and allowed them to sign a big-money, long-term deal around the age of 25.

Crosby’s third contract was 12 years. Kopitar’s was seven years. Washington opted to sign both Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom to 13 and 10 year deals respectively coming out of their entry-level contracts.

There’s been a lot of talk of McDavid signing for the maximum eight years, but the difference between him and Crosby and Malkin is the lockout was on the horizon and the salary cap was rapidly rising. A lot of these players were able to sign a second contract then another deal that wouldn’t have been possible after the new Collective Bargaining Agreement limited contract lengths to eight years.

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If the salary cap hovers around $74 million like Chiarelli is projecting, McDavid will likely hold the highest cap hit in the league, besting Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane’s 10.5 million. A cap hit around 15-17%, similar to other elite players, of the salary cap would be $11-12.5 million, and potentially more depending on the number of years Edmonton ultimately signs McDavid.

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Even a max-salary and term deal would only be $14.8 million per year. Easily still worth having Connor McDavid on your team, but it makes things a little more difficult for Peter Chiarelli in terms of roster composition in the future. McDavid has a lot of elite company and could demand the moon, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he comes in well under the max salary as well.

The Oilers will sign Connor McDavid this summer. The only question is whether it’ll be a four or five-year bridge to unrestricted free agency, or a massive eight-year deal. McDavid’s contract will likely set a new bar in terms of the cap hit like Ovechkin and Crosby did years before, but it’d be difficult to overpay Connor McDavid. Peter Chiarelli will know how much his top centre will be making, and can then focus on signing Leon Draisaitl and the rest of his free agents.

Stats and contract information from hockey-reference.com and nhlnumbers.com

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The Edmonton Saves the Night campaign is focusing on blending the support of local businesses with generous everyday donors to fill the $25,000 funding gap to build a comprehensive Street Children Protection Center in Arusha.

Location: Pint on Whyte – This coming Friday
Time: Silent auction runs 9 – 11 pm
Cause: 100% of funds going toward a shelter for Tanzanian street children
Tickets: $10 (purchased just inside the door)
What You Get: A pre-paid drink and 10% off food (can be used at any time during the day)
Silent Auction Items Include: A signed McDavid hat, plus other packages with gift cards for restaurants, pizza, beer glasses etc.

  • Gravis82

    So, how much will McDavids next contract be worth then? Be nice to see an analysis based on dollars per points expected. Also, a player who get 100 points on his own, opens up a spot on the team to also get points. Based on the salary cap and the points that McDavid is expected to get and the points that he allows others to get how much would a max contract hurt the oilers? Or perhaps it wouldn’t at all? The Towes and Kane contracts are hurting the Hawks, cause Towes is not exactly lighting the world on fire. If he was playing to his contract that would be fine.

    How long do we expect McDavid to get 100 points for, and is it reasonable to expect that it will last the entire 8 years? How often does a player like that get injured, and if so what would be the effect of this expected missed time on the value of the contract.

  • Reg Dunlop

    I know it’s dumb to pick at old wounds but is anyone watching the Preds/Ducks? If the league mandated the refs to call the Oiler/ Ducks like this, the Oil would have had 15 power plays each game. Maybe we need NASCAR and better bar-b-que here.

    Connor gets 11 mil for max term. And it’s still a value deal.

  • Randaman

    I think with the taster Connor got in the play offs has only intensified his desire to win. He’s smart enough to appease the agents and be the highest paid player in the league while leaving PC enough to build around him. How much does McDavid make from CCM, Bio-Steel, etc. I think between 11 & 12 x 8 years.

  • Homer

    If Mr McDavid wants more then 11 million per he’s handcuffing the GM…my guess is 97 pulls off a team friendly deal like Crosby and goes for something under 10 mill over 8 years. If you wanna make money you bankrupt a team if you wanna win cups you sign a team friendly contract

    • Freddie the fog

      Totally agree. I think hes a smart enough kid to realize that. He can make up a slight “shortfall” in endorsements if he so chooses. 10 million dollars per should really be enough to satisfy his needs and leaving enough $ still around to ice a very good hockey club.

      • Gravis82

        There isnt really a shortfall to make up?? He is getting the endorsements regardless. At 14milllion, or 7 million. If conner takes 9 million per for 8 years, he gave up 40 million dollars for this team. If that happens, we should all build giant sized McDavid statues in our back yards out of whatever materials we can afford on 1 months salary.

      • Gravis82

        A 1 million dollars cut, is 8million dollars. 8 MILLION DOLLARS. Most are expecting him to take a 3 million dollar cut at least. 24 MILLION DOLLARS. I get why we want to win cups, but my goodness that is a lot of money to say you dont want. And who’s to say your GM doesn’t end up squandering that 3 million a year that should have went to you on some stupid signing that they end up buying out. There is no guarentee that the discount you take will lead to a more improved team. People are dreaming if they think he is taking a cut

        • armchair oil nut

          What you are forgetting is he can sign an eight year deal for 8-10 mil but he can also put in a bonus clause for the remainder. Bonuses do not go against the cap. He’s worth what he asks for and they will make it happen. He isn’t dealing with the clowns the Oil had a few years back…..”oh ok, where do we sign…duhhh”.
          Same with Drai. He will likely sign a team friendly contract with bonuses on the back end.

          • Robs

            Bonuses do count against the cap. If achieved they count against the teams cap the year after. E.g. $50,000 bonus achieved 2016-2017 counts against 2017-2018 cap

      • I am Batman

        Would you? Would you leave on the table say…. 2 mill per year “to win” (nothing guarantees you will, we had a better team than Anaheim does). 2 mill in 8 years, that’s 16 million dollars in a career where he will get hurt at times, where he is risking his health and livelihood.
        Winning is great, but 16 million dollars in the bank and to do whatever in the world you want to do is even greater.
        If he is truly smart, he doesn’t leave ONE dollar on the table.

        • Dwayne Roloson 35

          I would definitely leave 2 or 3 million on the table to win. Even 8×8 is 64 million dollars. Obviously, he gets taxed but add in endorsements and you already have more money than you know what to do with.

          The benefit of this is seeing another top pairing d-man on the backend or a really good winger to play with.

          I’d rather win Stanley cups, play with great players and be known as a guy who cares more about winning than the guy who wanted an extra 16 Million when I don’t even need it.

          • I am Batman

            “You’d rather win Stanley cups than have 16 million dollars ” …. really? Btw McDavid happens to be worth every cent he makes. Whatever that is.

            Okay… if you’d rather have cups than 16 million (when you are worth the money it’s not that you are stealing it) I can respect it…. if I believed it. Your employer is very lucky to have you.

        • Dwayne Roloson 35

          It’s not just “Cups VS 16 million” though. It’s “Lot’s of Stanley cups + more money than I know what to do with VS A Stanley cup or 2 + more money than I know what to do with”

        • Zach's Crazy Eyes

          You are looking at it the wrong way Batman, using the 16 million dollars sounds bad. It would be a pay cut of 21%, would you take a pay cut of 21% to win a cup? I know I would!!!!!

          • I am Batman

            I would not.
            Making sure the Oilers manage the salary cap, McDavid’s salary and win cups is Chiarelli’s job.
            McDavid’s job is to be a hockey player and he should be paid whatever he is worth (which is a lot). I don’t give a discount to my company so that other people get paid well too.
            But I just value money too much I guess.

            Let’s see what discount McDavid gives the Oilers.

          • JudgeDredd

            is it really a pay cut if he never had it to begin with? i mean whether he is making 8×8 or 8×11 he’s making a shit load of money for someone in their early 20’s. he wont know what life is like with 64mil or 88mil.

            to me Connor seems like the type that cares more about winning than an extra 16mil. the legacy he can make is probably worth more than money.

          • Marcellus Wallace

            A little different perspective… your boss says we can fire your admin assistant and give you a 20% raise. Your admin assistant made $40,000 and you make $200,000. You will now have to work longer days, book your own meetings, manage your expense account, do your own paperwork to meet your same target and even though you were making what you considered to be good money before, you want the extra $40k and are willing to let your sales slip. This means you won’t qualify for some extra-curricular bonus trips to Hawaii and Vegas, or get the company’s luxury box at the Oiler games and trips to the Superbowl and other things that only the top producers get that even with your extra money, you can’t buy (like playing in the Stanley Cup final). You just get to watch the video of those who did enjoy such things while you sit at home that time of year counting your extra 20%. Do you still want the extra money

    • crabman

      Even at 12M he would be leaving money on the table. But I could see him signing for 10.5-12 and save the team some money to spend on other needs. With that kind of money plys endorsements he will make more than enough money to live a great life for himself and his family. You need to remember that 2-3m spent elsewhere could be the difference between being a really good team and a great one. At some point winning plays a part in the decision. He will be committing to playing somewhere for years. It’s a lot more fun to win. This is no different than a player takingva discount to go to a contender and sighting the desire to win as being a big factor.

  • Clayton

    This one is easy to figure out. There are two ways it goes. Either he signs a 14.6M / season max deal to make him the highest paid player in the league and they will rationalize it by referring to it in terms of %age of salary cap or he will go with a hometown discount and sign an 8 year deal worth $12.125M per season. It may not be equal each year…but the overall value will be 8 @ 12.125.

  • Nick Khron

    He’ll leave money on the table. Of course it would be a wet dream to have him do for 9.7 but I don’t think you try and squeeze an extra million or two from your team when you’re one of the few NHL athletes that makes an extra 5-6 million of endorsements already. As a person, he’s going to want this team to have the cap room to actually win. As a business person, he knows he makes that money back threefold once he start bringing cups here.

  • Consultant

    Success will bring the big endorsement money that will pay him for life. Success in the hockey world is measured in cups. If Wayne had no cups he would not be the legend he is, his story would be the best player but he never won. If Conner’s camp is wise they will know that going for too much won’t have good optics, Connor will make more money in his life from endorsements than NHL pay checks. I think it will be 9.7 – 10.5 for 8.
    Plenty of money.

  • RJ

    This is simple.

    If Eberle is worth $6m to ON bloggers, then McD has to be worth at least $12.5m/8 years. Eberle has never won anything other than Willis’ undying devotion.

  • Zach's Crazy Eyes

    I could really see McDavid signing that 8 year 9.7 mil deal, sure he is leaving money on the table but he wants to win the cup. I am sure the Katz family can find a way to get him his extra 2 mil a year. He is worth what ever we end up paying him, all it will change is how much harder it will be to build a winner.

  • Mitch92

    Anyone who thinks the Oilers will have an easy time getting Connor signed to a second contract has a very short memory. I recall the worlds greatest hockey prodigy looking less than pleased to find out that he was going to Edmonton. Has his attitude changed? Perhaps, but I would suggest that if Connor really wants to play elsewhere, he will.

    • BobbyCanuck

      That was then, this is now, people change, Connor has spend time with all the Oiler Hall of Famer’s he understands what it takes to win, he feels the love. He will be an Oiler for life. After bring another handful of Cups to us he will retire and spend his time hanging out with Wayne and the boys watching the Oilers win yet more Cups during the decade of 2030

    • Freddie the fog

      Connor and pretty much everybody else thought he was going to Buffalo. He played jr. Near Buffalo and his family and most of his friends are from the region ( southern Ontario) . Ya he was shocked when the lottery balls fell to Edmonton. But if you were paying attention this kid loved being an Oiler.

  • Alkali

    From McDavid’s perspective, it makes sense to sign a shorter term deal. This way he can get a richer contract for his next deal if the cap goes up. I am guessing it will be something like $11 million for 4-5 years

  • BobbyCanuck

    Outside the box…is there any rule disallowing a player to have as part of non-cap hit compensation an ownership portion in the team? Worth exploring if possible, a future ownership share for signing a long term cap friendly contract?

  • CBK

    If I’m Chiarelli I just lay out the options for Connor as he holds the cards.

    I’d tell McDavid, we will give you whatever you like. You’re the cornerstone of this franchise and you’re the guy we depend on to help this organization win championships.

    With that being said, if you want anything north of $10M I will have to make some tough decisions on your supporting cast ie. Maroon, RNH, Nurse etc.

    We can offer you $10M x 8 years which will give me wiggle room to give you a supporting cast to help you win championships like what Crosby is doing with Pittsburgh.

    Once again we will pay you whatever you like and we support whatever your decision is.

  • Raffydog

    So reading these comments, it’s apparent that Mcdavid is the only hockey player in the history of the NHL that wants to win a cup. He may take a discount, but it’s unlikely. You think his agent, who gets a percentage of his contract, wants to leave money on the table? You think the nhlpa wants him leaving money on the table? They will be using his contract as a comparison for other players for years to come. Sounds like wishful thinking because you know your team will be in cap hell in the next year or two

    • CBK

      You’re making it seem like the comments here are suggesting Chiarelli lowball McDavid and make him upset.

      Everyone understands McDavid dictates how much he makes. But McDavid also dictates how much he wants to win a Stanley Cup.

      Negotiating a contract in the $10M range isn’t chump change. Plus all the endorsements he will be making. As someone already stated; he’s going to make so much money he won’t know what to do with it even with making $10M per season.

      McDavid is a winner and at the end of the day its all about what he wants. If he wants the max $14.8M then the Oilers will give it to him, but McDavid will have to understand his supporting cast will be a lot weaker as you already stated the Oilers will be in cap hell.

      So the question remains; is leaving a few million dollars McDavid doesn’t really need worth possibly losing a chance to win the Stanley Cup?

      He’s a smart kid and I think he’s going to choose the latter.

      • Mitch92

        This is a fan fallacy. Players have agents and Mr. Orr is going to want his top client to set the standard, regardless of term. Maybe they take less but don’t sell any UFA years? $9.5 x 3 yrs sounds possible and then Connor can decide where he wants to play. Hopefully by then he has hoisted a cup with the Oilers.

  • CMG30

    Edmonton will pay McDavid basically whatever he asks.

    One would hope that McDavid realizes that he will be able to maximize his non-NHL salary earnings (sponsorships and the like) if he allows cap room for PC to build a solid team around him. The more success his teams have, the more in demand he will be to companies like Nike which could ultimately lead to earning that dwarf any NHL salary.

  • The Oilers and their fanbase, in that new rink, in the finals, is what drives HRR to cap lifting levels. That Bettman guy should appreciate such things as his boi Kesler goes all groin grappler on the leagues elite talent, in front of empty seats, in the land of mickey mouse.

  • OilRider

    I think one major difference between McDavid and guys like Toews/Kane/Crosby etc. is that those guys have all won Cups. At least, that’s the only card I can think of that Chi has to play.

    I mean, Crosby only gets 8.7M/yr. and he’s won a couple Cups. Stamkos is in a more similar boat to McDavid, and he only gets 8.5M/yr.

    So I don’t think, say, 9.7M/yr for McDavid is all that crazy.

  • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

    From my perspective CMD will make more money if he signs for less. If he signs for say 8 million per, and that allows more high-end players to play with him then they win more and all get more silver. That in turn leads to more endorsement deals. It also means all the rest of the team has to be willing to prorate their deals so that more $ is available to sign better players. IMO Big contracts like Ovies have meant less of a chance of getting to the cup for Washington. In the Pens case it took time for Crosby’s contract percentage to lower enough so they could once again compete. The only team to manage the cap well and have superstars as well has been Chicago. They had to always be rotating out players they could sign others for less but they made it work.

  • Hockeyfan

    How many budding superstars want to live ebmonlottowin? IMO, mcd doesn’t touch pen tp paper this summer. Wishful thinking he does to judge drai’s contract. does drai get an offer sheet for 9 mil for kicks? Does mcd get 1 for 14.5 million next year?

    • Freddie the fog

      CMON know your info before you leave a post that makes u look silly. Their will be NO offer sheet for Mcdavid because he will be signed long long before hes a restricted free agent.