It was three years ago today that the Edmonton Oilers locked up captain Connor McDavid to an eight-year, $100-million contract.
There was little surprise to it as he became the highest-paid player in the league — a title he still holds to this day when you look at his cap hit. The reigning scoring champion and MVP got paid.
And at this point, you can make the argument that he’s actually underpaid. Since he signed his new deal, he’s scored 321 points good enough for the most in the NHL in that time. While his next nearest competitor is Nikita Kucherov scoring 313, McDavid truly is in another level as a player.
His speed, skill and tenacity is nearly unmatched in the entire league and holds a game-breaking talent that next to nobody possesses. He’s the Oilers captain and a leader both on and off the ice.
Edmonton still has a lot of life left in McDavid as his contract didn’t take effect until 2018-19 meaning he will under contract through the 2025-26 season before becoming a UFA.
Another reason to make the argument he is underpaid is simply by looking at some of the other highest-paid contracts signed around the league signed since McDavid. Artemi Panarin has the second-highest cap hit in the league at $11.64-million signing his deal with the New York Rangers on July 1st, 2019, and he’s scored 40 less points than McDavid has over that time.
Auston Matthews, a great player in his own right, signed a five-year $11.63-million deal in February 2019, the third-highest in the league, but is once again not in the same stratosphere as McDavid is.
Kucherov, meanwhile, is earning $9.5-million a year and the player who I think is the closest comparable to the talent McDavid possesses is Nathan MacKinnon, who is on a wildly team-friendly $6.3-million deal.
On Twitter: @zjlaing