McDavid signs eight-year extension with Oilers for highest cap hit in NHL history


Connor McDavid has signed an eight-year, $100 million contract extension with the Edmonton Oilers.

When the deal kicks in after next season, the average annual value on his deal will be $12.5 million — the highest cap hit in NHL history.

Still, according to GM Peter Chiarelli, the Oilers got themselves a bargain.

“This may be one of the largest contracts ever given in the NHL, but I can assure you it easily could’ve been a lot higher in value and shorter in term,” Chiarelli said Wednesday at a press conference. “Building a team to win the Stanley Cup was a constant discussion point in this negotiation.”

McDavid is now signed through 2025-26. He still has one year left on his entry-level contract.

“Being here for the next nine years is something that was important to me,” said McDavid. “I wanted to show my commitment to the Oilers organization, the fans, the city — show that I’m in it for the long haul and I want to win here.”

It had been reported that McDavid’s cap hit could reach $13.25 million. However, TSN’s Bob McKenzie heard that McDavid “wasn’t comfortable with the number and may have insisted on lowering it.”

The 20-year-old center just won the Hart Trophy and Art Ross Trophy after piling up 100 points (30G, 70A) in 82 games and leading the Oilers back to the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

Per Sportsnet’s Mark Spector, $86 million of McDavid’s extension will come in the form of signing bonuses.

Bolts get Dotchin under contract, still need to sign Johnson and Palat


Two days after signing Slater Koekkoek, the Tampa Bay Lightning got another young defenseman under contract. Jake Dotchin has inked a two-year, one-way deal with a cap hit of $812,500.

Dotchin, 23, was a pleasant surprise for the Bolts in 2016-17. As a rookie, he played 35 games and had 11 assists.

Now that Koekkoek and Dotchin have been taken care of, GM Steve Yzerman can turn his attention to restricted free agent forwards Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat.

Johnson and Palat both have until 5 p.m. ET today to file for arbitration.

McDavid contract time? Oilers to host ‘major news’ press conference today


The Edmonton Oilers will host a “major news” press conference at 3 p.m ET today at Rogers Place. The speculation is that they’ll announce Connor McDavid has signed a contract extension.

McDavid, 20, still has a year left on his entry-level deal, but he became eligible to sign an extension on July 1.

The cap hit on his new deal could reportedly approach $13 million, which would make it the highest in the NHL by a fair margin.

McDavid won the Hart Trophy and Art Ross Trophy in 2016-17 after piling up 100 points (30G, 70A) in 82 games and leading the Oilers back to the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

The Oilers also need to sign Leon Draisaitl. The 21-year-old center is currently a restricted free agent, after his entry-level contract expired June 30.

GM Peter Chiarelli has vowed that the Oilers will match any offer sheet for Draisaitl.

Related: For Oilers, trading Jordan Eberle was about ‘long-term thinking’ 

Who’s still left? Here are 10 notable UFAs


The oldest: Jaromir Jagr, 45, won’t be returning to the Florida Panthers. But he still wants to play. The future Hall of Famer had 16 goals and 30 assists in 82 games last season.

The most points last season: Thomas Vanek, 33, was reportedly talking with “several teams” on July 1, but no deal yet. Vanek split 2016-17 between Detroit and Florida. The fact he only scored two goals in 20 games for the Panthers may have hurt his value, but he did have 48 points in 68 games overall.

The most goals: Mike Fisher, 37, is apparently considering retirement. But if he decides to keep playing, it’s hard to imagine he signs with anyone but Nashville. Fisher had 18 goals in 72 games last season, then helped the Predators to their first Stanley Cup Final in franchise history.

The most points by a defenseman: Andrei Markov had 36 points (6G, 30A) for Montreal. The Habs would like to bring the 38-year-old back, but GM Marc Bergevin says his final offer has been made. The message to Markov? Take it or leave it.

The most right-shot defenseman: We’ll give this to Cody Franson, the 29-year-old who’s spent the last two years in Buffalo. Franson is no savior, but he’s not too old, and he was pretty productive on the power play during his days with the Maple Leafs.

The most Rocket Richard Trophies: Jarome Iginla, 40, is still unsigned. The two-time leading goalscorer in the NHL scored just 14 times last season for Colorado. He wants to keep playing, but it remains to be seen if he’ll get an offer he likes.

The most to prove: That would be Shane Doan, 40, after being cut loose by the Arizona Coyotes. Doan had just six goals in 74 games, but apparently some teams are interested.

The most fast (a.k.a. the fastest): Viktor Stalberg can still fly at 31 years old, and he’s got plenty of postseason experience to boot. The Ottawa Senators would like to keep him, and he’d like to stay. But the two sides have yet to reach a deal, so he may have to look elsewhere.

The most under-30: Among regular NHLers last season, 24-year-old defenseman Nikita Nesterov is the youngest UFA. He became an unrestricted free agent after the Canadiens chose not to extend a qualifying offer.

The most points by an under-30 UFA: That honor belongs to 26-year-old forward Alex Chiasson, who was cut loose by the Calgary Flames after registering 12 goals and 12 assists in 81 games.

Blues sign first-rounder Kostin, who could be a real steal


The St. Louis Blues have signed Russian forward Klim Kostin to a three-year, entry-level contract.

We wrote about Kostin yesterday. The 18-year-old was the 31st overall pick in the 2017 draft, and he may have been a steal considering he was the top-ranked European skater by NHL Central Scouting.

Kostin was only able to sign with the Blues after his financially troubled KHL club, Dynamo Moscow, annulled his contract (and 41 others) and made him an unrestricted free agent.

Kostin is not considered NHL-ready, but the AHL is an option for next season.

“If he’s ready for the American Hockey League, that would be great,” said Blues GM Doug Armstrong, per the Post-Dispatch. “If not, we’ll have to find a different option for him.”

St. Louis received the 31st pick in the Ryan Reaves trade with Pittsburgh.