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Avalanche Notebook: More On MacKinnon Next Deal, Kadri/Isles Rumors Swirl



Nathan MacKinnon

A good Tuesday to all. About a 100-degree day in Denver, or so it feels. I have red hair, so I hate heat and the sun (in large doses). I absolutely mean this: My favorite days are fall, cool, partially rainy days. Some NHL notes, links here, starting with more on my story last night of Nathan MacKinnon seeking to be the highest-paid player in the NHL with his next deal:

  • Some on social media misinterpreted (this never happens, I know) the story as to mean it is MacKinnon’s “demand” or something. There’s no “demand” from him or anyone else here. It’s just, absolutely, that the expectation is that MacKinnon will have the highest salary in the league when he signs his next deal. That might only be for one day, one month or one year, though.
  • Connor McDavid is currently the highest-paid player in the league, with a $12.5 million cap hit (but a $16 million actual salary this coming season).
  • When MacKinnon actually signs his next contract – and it is almost certainly to be with the Avalanche, but it doesn’t have to be – the absolute minimum expectation of a cap hit is $13 million, based on my conversations with NHL sources.
  • I think $13.5 million per is the hope/expectation of the minimum AAV on his next contract – which won’t take effect until the 2023-24 season. That’s a very, very realistic salary desire, based on MacKinnon’s career and (expected to continue) career accomplishments. The Avalanche hold an ace card in any contest with a MacKinnon UFA contender, if it comes to it. Colorado can offer MacKinnon an eight-year contract. Other teams can only offer a maximum of seven.
  • But MacKinnon can and should exceed McDavid’s $12.5 million cap hit because: 1. He’s worth it. 2. McDavid has four more years on his deal. MacKinnon has one. That puts MacKinnon in a better position over McDavid (at least for three more years) in terms of future market-value worth based on close to current market value).
  • Keep in mind, MacKinnon could spurn the Avalanche on a deal and just go UFA in 2023. I doubt he’d do it, but it’s the fact of the matter. That’s why the Avalanche, in my opinion anyway, don’t have a lot of time to hem and haw with the MacKinnon camp on his next deal. MacKinnon is a superstar, Stanley Cup champion at age 26. It’s his world right now, and we just live in it.
  • More rumor flurries today that Nazem Kadri has a likely seven-year, $49 million contract in place with the New York Islanders. But other reports say Kadri is holding out for $9 million per. As I’ve said before, the only thing I know for sure on this story is that the Avalanche would/will only go short-term on a new deal with Kadri. Which makes me believe his time here is over. But this is a weird business. Until anything is official, it’s not.
  • Paul Stastny remains unsigned, with the Avalanche still having a likely vacancy at 2C. Just sayin.’
  • Avalanche assistant coach Ray Bennett had his day with the Cup today.
  • Avalanche fans can watch Oskar Olausson and Sean Behrens as part of the World Junior tourney, which started today.
  • A good response to a recent 20% off subscription sale. So, I’ll offer it here again: Want a $24.99 full-year price on a Colorado Hockey Now subscription, which comes with an ad-free experience, instead of $29.99? Use the promo code word 5off in the checkout box here to get the deal (checkout box)

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