Connor McDavid, the NHL's most valuable player, now has the most valuable annual salary.
The Edmonton Oilers announced Wednesday that the center has signed a contract extension with an annual average value of $12.5 million over eight years.
Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli said that the dollars could have been higher and the term shorter but that McDavid wanted the Oilers to be able to construct a winner.
"Building a team to win the Stanley Cup was a constant point of discussion," Chiarelli said.
Heading into the offseason, Chicago Blackhawks stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane had shared the top annual salary at $10.5 million. Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price joined them with an extension last week.
McDavid is going into the final season of his rookie contract. It has a base salary of $925,000 with performance bonuses of $2.85 million. His new deal starts in 2018-19.
In just his second season, the 20-year-old McDavid won the Art Ross Trophy with 100 points (30 goals, league-leading 70 assists), the third-youngest player to do so behind Crosby and Wayne Gretzky.
"I want to win here," McDavid said. "This is a city that has such a rich history. It's important we bring that back. We got a taste of that last season. ... Honestly, it's such an honor to be here and to wear that Oilers jersey for the next nine years of my life."
He also led the Oilers to the playoffs for the first time since 2006. Edmonton lost in the second round in seven games to Anaheim.
"We've built a good team here," McDavid said. "Sure, it was just one year, but we're on the right track."
McDavid was the first overall pick of the 2015 draft and had 48 points in 45 games in 2015-16. His season was abbreviated by a broken collarbone.
The Oilers are also trying to sign McDavid's teammate, Leon Draisaitl, to a long-term deal. Edmonton cleared cap space earlier in the offseason by trading Jordan Eberle to the New York Islanders. Draisaitl, who is a restricted free agent, was second on the team with 77 points last season.