The Stanley Cup window is now open.

Peter Chiarelli says the pay window is about to open big time for both Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, in that order and those are his first two priorities.

As a surprise to many, there were indications, as was the case back at the trade deadline, that he wants to continue to allow this group to grow together and show what they’re going to grow into. That very much sounded like it included Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Chiarelli suggested he had no plans to replicate last year’s Taylor-Hall-for-Adam-Larsson blockbuster or anything remotely resembling it, that he plans to let his defence grow rather than looking to add to it.

Tuesday at Rogers Place, in the annual State of the Union media conference, he declared the Oilers official contenders.

Chiarelli made comments back at the trade deadline that were taken to mean he didn’t think the Oilers were ready to become a Stanley Cup team yet.

“I just don’t know if we were quite ready for it and in hindsight if you look back, maybe we weren’t,” he said Tuesday, prior to being nominated as one of three finalists for GM of the Year . “The players have shown through the year and the playoffs a real resiliency. That’s the type of character, that’s the type of glue, that’s the type of make-up you want in a team. I was very happy with what I saw.