Alex Galchenyuk

NHL Notes: Oilers sign star Connor McDavid to 8-year, $100 million deal

NHL Notes: Oilers sign star Connor McDavid to 8-year, $100 million deal

EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Edmonton Oilers paid a huge price to lock up superstar 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 and due a big raise.

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

"There are challenges at every juncture when you are building a winning team in the salary cap era. Connor recognizes that, Jeff Jackson (McDavid's agent) recognizes that and we're confident we'll be able to ice a winning team, one that can contend and win the Cup" (see full story).

Canadiens: Galchenyuk agrees to deal to avoid arbitration
MONTREAL -- Alex Galchenyuk and the Montreal Canadiens avoided arbitration by agreeing to a three-year, $14.7 million contract Wednesday.

The 23-year-old Galchenyuk was a restricted free agent.

Drafted third overall by Montreal in 2012, the American center had 17 goals and 27 assists in 61 games last season and added three assists in six playoff games. He has 89 goals and 115 assists in 336 career NHL games.

Galchenyuk was born in Wisconsin while his father, Russian player Alexander Galchenyuk, was with the International Hockey League Milwaukee Admirals.

Rangers: Fast re-signs; Desharnais inks free-agent deal
NEW YORK -- The Rangers have re-signed restricted free-agent forward Jesper Fast and signed free-agent center David Desharnais.

General manager Jeff Gorton announced the moves Wednesday.

Fast, who won his second straight Players' Player Award for team play this past season, got a three-year contract worth $1.85 million annually. Desharnais received a one-year contract worth $1 million.

The 25-year-old Fast skated in 68 games this past season, with six goals and 15 assists. The Swede finished third among Rangers forwards in hits (99) and ranked fourth among the forwards in blocked shots (44).

Fast, who is expected to be sidelined for five months after hip surgery in early June, has skated in 216 NHL games and collected 22 goals and 43 assists.

The 30-year-Desharnais gives the Rangers added depth at center behind Mika Zibanejad and Kevin Hayes. He has won more than 50 percent of his career faceoffs.

Desharnais has played in 453 games over parts of eight seasons with Montreal and Edmonton, with 81 goals and 173 assists. The Laurier-Station, Quebec, native split this past season between Montreal and Edmonton, with six goals and eight assists in 49 games.

Desharnais has played in 51 NHL playoff games with four goals and 13 assists. He skated in 13 playoff games with Edmonton, with one goal and three assists.

Ducks: Team signs goalie Berra away from new Swiss squad
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Goalie Reto Berra has signed with the Anaheim Ducks, returning to North America less than three months after agreeing to a three-year deal with Fribourg-Gotteron in his native Switzerland's top league.

Berra used an out clause in his Swiss deal to return to the NHL on Wednesday.

The Ducks gave a one-year deal to Berra, who will provide organizational depth behind John Gibson and new signee Ryan Miller.

Berra played seven games for Florida last year, spending much of the season in the AHL. The 30-year-old veteran has appeared in 71 NHL games over five seasons with Colorado, Calgary and the Panthers.

Berra signed with Fribourg-Gotteron in April after four seasons in North America. Berra played from 2009-13 for Switzerland's EHC Biel, which currently employs longtime Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller.