Ever since Connor McDavid was drafted, all the noise outside the Edmonton market has been one thing: he’s going to leave someday.
It doesn’t help that on the night the Oilers won the draft lottery, there was a stone-faced McDavid that cameras picked up on. Everyone said he was disappointed to go there and to be real, things haven’t always been rainbows for him in Edmonton.
The Oilers have only made the playoffs four times, each coming in the last six years, and there have been more than enough tough times through his seven years. With four years left on his deal paying him $12.5-million, that outside noise has yet to go away.
But now, that noise is about to go quiet.
Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli joined Baggedmilk’s Better Lait Than Never podcast on Wednesday and he had this to say:
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BaggedMilk: I have no idea where some of this stuff came from, where it came from — a podcast, whoever — buy or sell, Frank Seravalli: in four years time, the Toronto Maple Leafs will be clearing cap space to try and sign Connor McDavid.
Seravalli: Sell. Unless the wheels absolutely fall off in Edmonton and they’re not competitive, I don’t think there’s any way Connor McDavid’s leaving.
As if there was ever any doubt (in the Edmonton market, at least).
The chances of McDavid leaving have always been slim and truth be told, even over the few years prior to the Oilers’ Western Conference Finals run, they’ve been a competitive team. They’ve made the playoffs in each of the last three years, and in both 2019-20 and 2020-21, the Oilers finished second in their division.
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McDavid, meanwhile, continues to light the league on fire.
The true question is this: if McDavid were to ever leave the Oilers, where would he go? Even with a rising cap, the Leafs would have to clear out significant cap space to sign McDavid, who could easily sign a max contract of 20% of the salary cap.
That’s a massive chunk of change for any team to fit under their cap. Any other team who would want to afford McDavid would likely have to gut their roster in order to clear space and no matter how good McDavid is, we’ve seen in Edmonton he can’t do it on his own.
For the Oilers, they can plan over the next few years to ensure that McDavid will not only be able to re-sign but that the team can remain competitive. Edmonton has a chance to win at least one Stanley Cup before his contract is up. When the time comes, the Oilers would only have to afford ‘X’ amount of money over the $12.5-million he’s already making. That’s a lot easier to do for the Oilers than for any other team in the league.
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You can listen to the full episode below.

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 [email protected]

#NATIONVACATION TO LAS VEGAS

  • When: On Thursday, January 12th, we’re jumping on a flight at the Edmonton International Airport and making our way to Vegas. On Sunday evening, we’ll fly back from Vegas to Edmonton. So the dates that you need to block off for this trip are January 12th to 15th.
  • Where we’re staying: After landing in LV, we’ll jump on the free shuttle and make our way to the Park MGM before settling in for a good night’s sleep. 😉
  • What you get: Your roundtrip flight, hotel, shuttle, viewing party (Friday night), game entry — we got seats this time (Saturday night), and exclusive entry into our pre-trip ‘get to know everyone’ event.
  • How Much: The total cost for the trip, flight, hotel, and entry to the game is $1499 per person (based on double occupancy)
  • Tickets: Ready to dive in? Click this link.