AVALANCHE

Report: MacKinnon may get McDavid money, how do the Avs afford it?

Aug 26, 2022, 4:16 PM

The Colorado Avalanche better hope their bank account looks healthy because they’re about to shell out a lot of money to their star player.

On Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman’s 32 Thoughts Podcast released on Thursday, the SportsNet duo detailed negations between Nathan MacKinnon and the Avs. The reporters say MacKinnon is looking for Connor McDavid money on his new contract extension, potentially becoming the highest-paid player in the league.

The Oilers’ center signed an eight-year $100 million deal in 2020, becoming the wealthiest player in the NHL at $12.5 million per season. McDavid signed the contract at age 23, but MacKinnon is older than him already 26 years old. Each are extremely accomplished forwards but MacKinnon has had better postseason success both individually and team-wise.

“I think it’s going to be a big number, it’s a possibility but not guaranteed but he could end up the highest-paid player in the league,” the podcast said. “Right now that’s McDavid, I think it’s possible but even if he isn’t it’s going to be a big number.”

The podcast discussed how this limited the Avs in bringing back Nazem Kadri. They report the Avs did not want to go as long on term and threaten MacKinnon’s deal.

There are also reports that the NHL Salary Cap could rise quicker than anticipated, which will help the Avs.

MacKinnon is scheduled to become a free agent at the end of next season. Colorado has already committed $9.25 million to Mikko Rantanen, $9 million to Cale Makar, $7 million to Gabriel Landeskog, another $6.125 to Valeri Nichushkin, and $5 million to Samuel Girard long-term.

Colorado does have $3.9 in cap space this season that they could use on MacKinnon in the future. Either way, MacKinnon is only making $6.3 million this season, meaning he will take up a much more significant chunk of the Avs’ balance book.

MacKinnon scored a playoff-leading 13 goals in the postseason over 20 games en route to the Stanley Cup win. MacKinnon will soon be in his 10th NHL season; so far with the Avs, he’s played in 638 regular-season games, tallying 648 career points.

And after MacKinnon is locked up, Makar will likely become the highest-paid player on the Avs a few years later.

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