Edmonton Oilers CEO Jeff Jackson talks slow start, goaltending, and Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid’s contracts

Photo credit:Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
6 months ago
We could have some clarity on the Oilers’ situation moving forward.
On Monday, CEO Jeff Jackson was interviewed by TSN’s Gino Reda, where he asked the new Oilers’ executive several questions.
The biggest of note was Jackson’s answer to Reda’s “What’s it like in terms of a sense of urgency for you personally as to keep [Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl] long-term in Edmonton.”
Jackson’s response was a bit surprising, as he noted that his and other executive’s jobs are to be competing for the Stanley Cup, so there’s definitely urgency and windows. However, the two superstars are young and they aren’t in do-or-die territory.
What’s interesting to me is that on the surface level, they absolutely are in do or die territory. Draisaitl is only 28 years old, but the 2024-25 season will be the final on his extremely team-friendly deal. McDavid has an additional year remaining before he’s set for the largest contract in hockey history.
If the Oilers knew they were going to sign the pair a few years ahead of time, Jackson would be one of a few people with that information given that he runs the team. Now, this doesn’t factor in how upsetting it could be if the Oilers miss the playoffs in 2024 or any similar scenarios. However, to me it seems like the Oilers have a decent chance at re-signing both McDavid and Draisaitl.
Other notes:
  • Jackson also states that the expectations for Edmonton was high, and that could have gotten into their head a little bit. Edmonton got off to a terrible start after being predicted to make the cup final by several publications. Lately they’ve played better as they’re on a four game win streak and sit only six points out of the final wild card spot, but there’s no doubt they were in their own heads.
  • It was noted in the interview that the cap is likely going to go up by four or five million. At this point, we can just call this “Draisaitl’s cap”, as he’s set for a huge raise from his annual cap hit of $8,500,000. It’d be nice for the Oilers to have an additional extra million to play around with next season.
  • To be a general manager in the cap era, you have to be creative in shredding the cap. Planning was messed up with the pandemic hitting as the cap increase grinded to a halt, but now it’s up to the general managers to find ways to alleviate it. Jackson noted that Holland has been working hard to do so.
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