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  • Associated Press Edmonton's Connor McDavid, right, playing against San Jose in April, led the NHL in scoring last season, won the Hart Trophy (league MVP) and helped the lowly Oilers to the playoffs for the first time in a decade.

Thursday, July 06, 2017 1:00 am

NHL

League MVP McDavid gets $100 million deal

Associated Press

EDMONTON, Alberta – The Edmonton Oilers paid a huge price to lock up captain Connor McDavid.

But it could have been even higher.

The Oilers said Wednesday that the team and McDavid have agreed to an eight-year, $100 million extension.

That makes the 20-year-old league MVP the highest-paid player in the NHL on an annual basis ($12.5 million per season), but it's about $750,000 a year less than what reports last week figured he would be getting.

“It easily could have been a lot higher in value and shorter in term,” Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli said.

McDavid's extension kicks in after he finishes the final year of his entry-level deal next season. If the NHL's salary cap stays at its current level of $75 million, McDavid's salary alone would take up 16.6 percent of the Oilers' cap.

But any cap relief would be welcome to Edmonton. The Oilers are also working to re-sign Leon Draisaitl, who is a restricted free agent after finishing his entry-level deal.

“Part of this partnership was talking about building a team, and Connor was emphatic as was I about keeping this team competitive,” Chiarelli said.

McDavid led the NHL in scoring with 100 points last season, en route to winning the Hart Trophy as league MVP. In just his second season he helped the Oilers transition from league doormat to a potential contender in the Western Conference.

Edmonton made the playoffs for the first time in a decade last season and advanced to the conference semifinal, where they took Anaheim to seven games.

“I'm so excited to be able to wear the Oilers jersey for the next nine years of my life and play with some of the greatest guys that I know,” McDavid said.

“I wanted to show that I'm in it for the long haul, and I want to win here.”

Drafted first overall by the Oilers in 2015, McDavid became the youngest captain in NHL history last season. McDavid proved his leadership qualities in the playoffs by helping the Oilers overcome potentially painful losses.

“We showed a lot of resiliency,” he said. “We got some big blowout losses, some tough losses, some games that we definitely should have won and they were heartbreakers, but we always found a way to bounce back and get a win. ”

Loose pucks

The New York Rangers re-signed restricted free-agent forward Jesper Fast and signed free-agent center David Desharnais. Fast got a three-year contract worth $1.85 million annually. Desharnais received a one-year contract worth $1 million. ... Minnesota re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Zach Palmquist to a one-year, two-way contract. Palmquist will make $726,000 in the NHL and $70,000 in the AHL. ... Alex Galchenyuk and Montreal avoided arbitration by agreeing to a three-year, $14.7 million contract. ... Zach Hyman signed a $10 million, four-year contract extension with Toronto.