Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid mum on future contract extension, but committed to ‘seeing through’ Stanley Cup victory
Photo credit:Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
By Zach Laing28 days ago
It’s hard to believe, but Connor McDavid is about to enter his ninth season in the NHL.
It feels like just yesterday then-GM Peter Chiarelli walked up to the draft stage to take the now-superstar 1st overall, and the journey to where the Oilers are today has been far from a stable one.
The team has learned some hard lessons along the way. They fell in the second round of the 2017 playoff to the Anaheim Ducks, in the 2020 play-in series to the Chicago Blackhawks and what might’ve been the toughest pill to swallow — a 2021 sweep by the Winnipeg Jets.
But what’s clear now more than ever is the three-time Hart Trophy winner has a burning desire to lift Lord Stanley’s mug.
In a recent interview with Sportsnet’s Mark Spector, McDavid showed his growth as a leader spilling about what the last few years have been like for him, and what the future may hold.
While McDavid himself remained mum on the topic of a contract extension — one due up after the 2025-26 season — he expressed his commitment to bringing a Stanely Cup championship back to Edmonton for the first time since 1990.
“I love playing in Edmonton, and I really feel at home there,” McDavid told Spector. “Lauren (Kyle, McDavid’s fiancee) loves being in Edmonton.
“There are a lot — a lot — of things that check the boxes for us in Edmonton. We’re super comfortable there. But with all that being said, it’s three years down the road. We’ve got to kind of see where our lives are at and kind of go from there.
“I don’t say that to raise eyebrows or cause panic. It’s just the way that it is. But I love Edmonton, I’m 100 per cent committed to winning in Edmonton with this group. And we’re gonna see it through.”
The comments might jump off the page and shock you, much like the final cost of a new car, but the truth of the matter is that comments around his future feel like the status quo. We don’t know what McDavid’s life looks like three years from now, let alone our own.
But what is made clear is that these next three years are going to be imperative for the future of not just the franchise, but of McDavid’s legacy, too.
The Oilers, as McDavid went on to note in Spector’s article, are hungrier than ever to fix the issues of years past to turn the page.
That’s why McDavid, Spector reported, led the charge for the entire team to return to Edmonton on September 5th to begin captain’s skates.
McDavid’s motivation hit a new level after the Oilers were dispatched by the Vegas Golden Knights in last year’s playoffs. After the game six loss, McDavid cleared the locker room of all but the closest staff setting the tone for this upcoming season.
There, Spector noted that McDavid told the team the window to win was slamming shut and the time is nigh for past lessons to be put into action.
“That feeling in the room has really sat with me for a long time now, you know, ever since that series ended,” McDavid told Spector. “It’s something that we’re all going to want to hold on to. When we’re back in that situation, maybe when we’re down in a series, understanding that the time is now to do it. Because once it’s over, it’s over. You don’t get any re-runs.
“That was just as big of a feeling in our room: how far away you are from being in that exact same position and getting a chance to do it over again. So you don’t want to have any regrets.”
McDavid isn’t the only one looking ahead to the teams future, either. Spector noted that Stuart Skinner stepped up in the room after that loss as well saying the team needed to get to work.
“You’ve got to learn how to lose. You’ve got to learn how to win as well. I think we know how to do both. So just being able to gather ourselves here in the summer, get to work and know what we’re coming back here to do.
“And that’s win the Cup.”
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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