Reigning NHL MVP, scoring champion and the NHLPA’s highest honor – the Ted Lindsay Award – Connor McDavid had quite the sophomore season in the NHL. The 20-year-old center for the Edmonton Oilers has proven how valuable he is after just two seasons, so the team signed him to an eight-year, $100 million contract extension. There is a unique component to this new deal that marquee players in other leagues may soon follow suit.
With the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement expiring in 2022, McDavid and his representation team built in a clause that if the NHL was to engage in a lockout or any other work stoppage, his losses would not be too devastating. This is in part to the nearly $86 million of signing bonuses negotiated into his contract. The bonuses will be paid out each July under the terms of his new contract, according to his agent Jeff Jackson.
Although the CBA does not expire for another five years, both the players and the owners have the option to end it two years early on September 15, 2020. With the signing of his new deal, it is set to begin before the 2018-19 NHL season and end after the 2025-26 season – when he is only 29.
With NBA players signing these “super-max” mega deals during the free agency period, the NHL has a limit on player salaries – the salary of one player cannot exceed 20 percent of his team’s salary cap. McDavid’s deal pays him nearly $12.5 million per year – not bad for a 20-year-old.