Nathan MacKinnon and several other high-falutin’ players were in the Vegas area today, doing interviews on behalf of the NHL Players Association. A handful of media were there, including Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek, who spoke to No. 29 for their fine “32 Thoughts” podcast – always a must-listen for real hockey fans.
Asked about his contract status, MacKinnon said this to the two gentlemen from Sportsnet: “It should be done shortly, I’m hoping. “I love Joe [Sakic, president of hockey operations] and C-Mac [GM Chris MacFarland]. Those guys are great. It’s just a little business. I’m hoping we’ll get it done pretty soon.”
I wrote more than a month ago that MacKinnon will almost certainly be the highest-paid player in the NHL when he signs an extension with the Avalanche, and I stand by that more than ever. Currently, the highest-paid player in the league is Connor McDavid, at $12.5 million AAV. MacKinnon’s next deal will go well into the future, meaning you can’t base it on today’s NHL salary cap, but the one that is expected to go way up in the near future.
My understanding is that things have gone back and forth in the negotiations, in a normal kind of way. I don’t believe it’s ever gotten contentious. Some days, it probably seemed close. Some days, it might have seemed a ways away. That’s how it usually goes.
I fully expect Nathan MacKinnon to sign an extension before too long – and I think that even more now that it’s come from his own mouth.
There’s just absolutely no way the Avalanche will let him get away. None.