Two years ago yesterday, one of the best contracts in NHL history was signed.
Connor McDavid put pen to paper on a precedent-setting eight-year, $100,000,000 contract.
Let’s look back at how valuable he is today, and how it changed some recent contract negotiations.
The Edmonton Oilers and McDavid wasted no time in getting their contract negotiations underway as soon as he was eligible. And four days after he was first able to sign the deal, he did.
McDavid had just come off a season that saw him score 30 goals and 70 assists playing in a full 82-game season.
It was clear that whatever contract he was set to sign would be a big one — and a big one it was.
His annual cap hit of $12.5-million still sits tops in the league and has impacted the way other negotiations have taken place.
Auston Matthews was the first to feel the impact when he signed a five-year deal that would pay him an annual average salary of $11.634-million.
It was the easiest comparable given the comparisons that followed the two through their early NHL days; but even at that, Matthews took a deal that paid him less, over a shorter amount of time, taking him right to the cusp of unrestricted free agency.
And truth be told, I don’t think a contract will for a long time.
His contract was a precedent setter. How can a player come to negotiate with a team and ask for as much, or more than McDavid makes without being able to touch his potential or prowess on the ice?
There’s no denying that McDavid’s deal is the best in the league.
In all honesty, he could ask for $15-million, or even $16-million per year and be worth every single last penny.
Players like Matthews, Tavares, and Panarin are all great players in their own right, but none possess the ability to impact the game the way McDavid does.
Nor do any of them put up offensive numbers close to the 116 points Connor did last year.
As time progresses and more large ticket deals get signed by young players coming off entry-level deals, or UFA’s looking to cash in, McDavid’s contract will stand the true test of time as one of the best signed in league history.
Not only that but with a salary cap that’s bound to continue to increase over time, his deal will appear more and more team friendly.
Just think about it — he’s still only 22-years old as he enters the second year of that contract. He’s not even in his prime. He’s not even played the best hockey of his life.
It’s yet to be seen what he can do in this league, and that’s damn scary for fans, pundits and players around the league.
Like a fine wine, Connor McDavid’s contract will only get better with age.
On Twitter: @zjlaing
CONNOR McDAVID’S CAREER SO FAR