Critical update on Connor McDavid's future with Oilers

The current deal for McDavid expires in the summer of 2026.

Michael W.

The Edmonton Oilers have a pair of monumental decisions looming regarding the futures of franchise cornerstones Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, both of whom will soon be up for new contracts. Draisaitl can become a free agent next summer, while McDavid's deal expires in the summer of 2026. 

McDavid became the first player since Jean-Sebastien Giguere in 2003 to earn the Conn Smythe Trophy despite being on the losing side in the Stanley Cup Final after helping the Oilers nearly complete a historic comeback against the Florida Panthers last month. Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be. 

Regarded as the top player in the National Hockey League, McDavid will eventually have to decide if he wants to continue his career in Edmonton or seek a more lucrative opportunity elsewhere. According to NHL Insider Chris Johnston, how Draisaitl's situation plays out will have a significant impact on McDavid's future with the Oilers, who are not legally allowed to offer a new deal for him until 2025. 

"I don't think he's (Connor McDavid) thinking about leaving," Johnston said. "He doesn't have to think about it yet because two dominoes have to fall first. He can't make a decision till next July 1st anyway. He couldn't sign a contract today if he wanted. He could say to the Oilers, 'I would sign a lifetime contract,' but they're not legally allowed to do it. So, this Draisaitl situation will play out in full or in part before that happens."

"This is where I think it's interesting for the Oilers. Internally, I don't know if everybody's in full alignment on what to do, but if Leon comes back and says, 'I don't know if I want to sign a contract this summer,' part of the debate, I believe, is, 'We can't walk him to free agency because then next summer, when Connor is making his decision, it's potentially when Leon's walking out the door,'" he continued.

Will McDavid be an Oiler for life, or could the unthinkable unfold in northern Alberta for a second time that would see the League's top talent leave town? 

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Source: Sportskeeda