AVALANCHE

Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche strike deal on massive contract extension

Sep 20, 2022, 10:33 AM | Updated: 10:54 am
Joe Sakic Nathan MacKinnon...
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Avalanche superstar Nathan MacKinnon will almost assuredly finish his NHL career in Colorado.

The team announced a massive eight-year contract extension with MacKinnon on Tuesday morning. The deal will kick in for the 2023-24 season and run through the 2030-31 season. Mackinnon will play out the last year of his current deal that he signed back in July of 2016.

And his reward for winning the Stanley Cup and being one of the most dominant players in the league every year? How about becoming the highest-pay player in the NHL?

Wow! That is well deserved for MacKinnon, considering he’s been one of the most underpaid players for years. He’ll make “just” $6.85 million this upcoming season. MacKinnon spoke recently and said a deal was close. Apparently it was closer than we realized, as his agent and team president Joe Sakic, along with GM Chris MacFarland hammered a new contract out just two days before the Avalanche report for training camp.

“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,” MacFarland said in a release. “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.”

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 helped the Avs 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).

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.

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).

This is obviously a great, great day for the Avalanche and the city of Denver. MacKinnon and the Avs begin their championship defense at home on October 12 against the Chicago Blackhawks.

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