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BREAKING: Nathan MacKinnon Contract Extension With Avalanche Is DONE, Becomes Highest-Paid In NHL

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Nathan mackinnon

Nathan MacKinnon is officially under contract with the Colorado Avalanche for the next nine years. The Avalanche just made the announcement official: eight-year extension, with a cap hit of $12.6 million. That officially makes him the highest-paid player in the NHL, exceeding Connor McDavid’s cap hit by $100,000.

From the Avalanche release:

The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has signed forward Nathan MacKinnon to an eight-year contract extension starting in 2023-24 (runs through 2030-31).  He has one year left on his current deal signed on July 8, 2016.

The first overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, MacKinnon was a finalist for the Hart Trophy in three of the last five seasons (2017-18, 2018-19, 2020-21).  He won the 2020 Lady Byng Award and 2014 Calder Trophy and was named to the NHL’s Second All-Star Team in both 2017-18 and 2019-20.

MacKinnon, 27, finished second on the Avalanche with 88 points (32g/56a) in 65 games during the 2021-22 campaign.  He ranked seventh in the NHL in both points/game (1.35) and shots (299).  It marked his fourth career 30-goal season, third most in Colorado history after Joe Sakic (six) and Milan Hejduk (five).  MacKinnon recorded his 600th NHL point in his 599th career game on Jan. 17, 2022 vs. Minnesota, becoming the seventh player in franchise history, fourth in Colorado history and first from the 2013 NHL Draft to hit 600 points.

MacKinnon helped the Avalanche win the 2022 Stanley Cup after tallying 13 goals and 24 points in 20 postseason games.  His 13 goals tied for the league lead and equaled the second highest total in a single postseason in franchise history (Sakic, 18, 1996).  MacKinnon also led the NHL in shots (117) and power-play goals (6-tied).

“Nathan is obviously one of the premier players in the NHL so a long-term extension was something we wanted to get done before the season started,” said Avalanche General Manager Chris MacFarland.  “He has that rare combination of speed and power with a high compete level that makes him a generational player.  We are thrilled he will continue to be a member of this team and this community for many years to come.”

Heading into what will be his 10th NHL season this fall, MacKinnon has tallied 648 points (242g/406a) in 638 career regular season games, ranking sixth on the franchise’s all-time scoring list.  He sits fifth in points/game (1.02), seventh in goals (242), sixth in assists (406) and power-play tallies (71), fourth in game-winning goals (46) and shares the franchise record with nine overtime tallies.

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MacKinnon’s 638 points, 242 goals and 406 assists are the fourth most by an Avalanche player since the franchise relocated to Denver in 1995.  No player from the 2013 NHL Draft has more goals, assists or points than MacKinnon.  Since 2017-18, MacKinnon has 442 points (167g/275a) in 338 games, the third-highest total of any player over the last five seasons behind only Connor McDavid (549) and Leon Draisaitl (479).

MacKinnon has 2,401 career shots on goal, fourth most in franchise history and the second most of any player since he made his debut on Oct. 1, 2013 (Alex Ovechkin, 3,012).  MacKinnon set a single-game franchise record with 14 shots on Feb. 25, 2022 vs. Winnipeg, the most by an NHL player since Nov. 10, 2015 (Ovechkin 15 at Detroit).  He has placed among the top 10 in shots on five occasions, which included leading the league in both 2018-19 and 2019-20.

MacKinnon has 93 points (41g/52a) in 70 career playoff games, the third-highest points/game (1.33) average in postseason history behind only Wayne Gretzky (1.84) and Mario Lemieux (1.61).  MacKinnon was the fourth-fastest player in NHL history to reach 80 career playoff points (59 games, tied with Sidney Crosby) and the sixth fastest to 90 points (68 games, tied with Denis Savard).  His 93 points are the seventh-most through 70 career playoff games in NHL history.

MacKinnon has been named captain of the Central Division in each of the last three NHL All-Star Games and has been selected to five consecutive mid-season classics, the fourth-longest streak in franchise history behind Sakic (eight, 1989-90 to 1997-98), Michel Goulet (six, 1982-83 to 1987-88) and Peter Forsberg (six, 1995-96 to 2000-01).  MacKinnon and Sakic (2006-07) are the only Avalanche players to ever captain an All-Star team. 

A native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, MacKinnon was the youngest player to ever win the Calder Trophy (18 years, 224 days) and was named to the 2013-14 NHL All-Rookie Team.  He was the youngest player in franchise history to make his debut (18 years, 31 days).

Prior to turning pro, MacKinnon led the Halifax Mooseheads to their first-ever Quebec Major Junior Hockey League championship and first-ever Memorial Cup title in 2012-13.

At the international level, MacKinnon represented Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey.  He has represented Canada at three IIHF World Championships (2014, 2015, 2017), helping his country to the gold medal in 2015.  He also played for his nation at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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Adam Manter

I know that this makes MacKinnon the highest paid player but rumors were that he could make as much $14M per season. Did MacKinnon sign a team friendly deal?

Charlie Anderson

Seems like. Maybe he and the FO have a plan to get 5-6 more Cups over the life of this contract?

Matt

That is how I see it, I was thinking it could have easily have been north of $13M per.

Spencer Bradshaw

He would get more than 14 on the open market.

slowpokeczech

Yes, I think 12.6 is still a team-friendly deal.

It also sounds like a symbolic gesture to make him the “highest paid player.”

Both sides win.

Welcome home, 29!

Last edited 9 days ago by slowpokeczech
Ricardo

Great for both MacKinnon and the Avs. The eight year deal is a win for Mac. He has the security of salary and team until he is 36 years of age. That, to me, is worth a lot.

jimstrohmeier

Lordy. Thinking of Nate reaching the ripe old age of 36! I remember when the 17yr old made the roster.

Times flies when you’re having fun.

Ryan Krueger

Best $12.6 million the Avs have ever spent.

jimstrohmeier

Awesome writeup. But is the salary cap going to increase enough to keep talented players around Nate? I sure hope this doesn’t Eichel the Avs.

I thought for sure Nate would take $10M/AAV, though he is certainly worth the $12.6M. I want this team to repeat and win the 2023 Stanley Cup. I only hope the NHL revenues will support this deal and Nate enjoys more SC victories, and not just his bank balance.

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