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Colorado Avalanche

Nathan MacKinnon Signs Deal Making Him Highest-Paid NHLer

The Colorado Avalanche have signed Nathan MacKinnon to an eight-year extension that will make him the highest-paid player in the NHL.

According to sources, Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon has signed an eight-year extension with the Avalanche worth a whopping $12.6 million per season. The deal will officially make him the highest-paid player in the NHL. The extension will begin next season and runs through the 2030-31 season. He will be 36 when it expires.

The deal includes $85.34 million in signing bonus money and more than $49 million will be paid out in the first three years of the deal. There is a full no-move clause effective immediately and it breaks down as follows:

  • Yr 1: 775K & 15.725M Signing Bonus
  • Yr 2: 775K & 15.725M SB
  • Yr 3: $800K & 15.25M SB
  • Yr 4: $9.15M & 3M SB
  • Yr 5-8: $990K & 9.9M SB

MacKinnon is one of the league’s most elite players but was seen for years as underpaid. He is a nearly unstoppable force offensively who bulldozes into the zone in transition and is one of the fastest players in the game. He also happens to be one of the league’s best passers. From the perspective of someone who has earned this contract, it’s a great deal.

However, if you look at the fact he’ll be 36 years old when the contract expires and the $12.6 million per season puts a huge dent into the Avs salary cap for the coming seasons, it does mean that this team will have to change things up in years to come to accommodate the extension. There is some money left for getting deals done with Devon Toews and Mikko Rantanen but this is not a $6 million player moving to $8.5 or a $9 million player going to $11 million. This new deal will see MacKinnon make twice was he was making before. The team will need to find ways to make up the additional $6.3 million they are now allocating to him.

This isn’t a bad deal. MacKinnon will be productive for many years. This is just a big deal and dominos will fall because of it. And, not just for the Avalanche either. Both Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid will be looking at this contract when it comes time for them to consider their extensions.

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