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NHL

Who is Nathan MacKinnon the NHL’s highest paid player?

The Avalanche’s center now has a deal that fits his status, but some still think the star is actually underpaid.

Update:
Colorado Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon becomes the NHL's highest paid player, after signing an 8-year extension with the franchise for $12.6 million

The Colorado Avalanche star put pen to paper on an extremely lucrative deal and with that becomes the league’s best paid player. The obvious question now is, ‘what’s the return on their investment?’

Avalanche’s Nathan MacKinnon becomes NHL’s highest paid player

According to reports on Tuesday, Nathan MacKinnon is now officially the highest-paid player in the NHL. Indeed, the Colorado Avalanche star signed an eight-year contract extension with the franchise that will see him earn a cool $12.6 million per season. Incidentally, MacKinnon was set to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2022-23 season, meaning it’s a shrewd piece of business on Colorado’s part. If you’re wondering, Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid was previously the league’s highest-paid player with a $12.5 million annual cap hit. It was back in 2017, when McDavid signed his eight-year contract extension.

Who is Nathan MacKinnon?

Though the news is noteworthy, it’s not surprising. Just last Thursday, MacKinnon - during the NHL/NHLPA’s media tour near Las Vegas, MacKinnon disclose that he felt that an extension was “pretty close.” “We’re pretty close,” he said at the time. “I’d prefer it to be done. It gets emotional. You feel like it’s personal sometimes. I’d like to get it done just so it’s not a distraction at all.”

As for the man’s numbers, MacKinnon is fresh off of a season in which he spearheaded the franchise’s first Stanley Cup since 2001. Indeed, across the season, the star center registered 88 points (32 goals and 56 assists) while also adding 24 points (13 goals and 11 assists) throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs. To punctuate the point, the Avalanche’s main man has also been named as a finalist for the Hart Trophy for the second time in the last three seasons. The award, is of course given to the league’s MVP.

The Colorado Avalanche have been busy

While it’s to be expected that MacKinnon’s contract extension will grab the headlines, the fact is the Avalanche have been quite productive during this offseason. The defending Stanley Cup champions have been busy ensuring that their roster will be in tip top shape when the next season rolls around. Valeri Nichuskin has been re-signed to an eight-year, $49 million extension and winger Artturi Lehkonen to a five-year, $22.5 extension. There is also 2022 Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Cale Makar who they tied up on a six-year, $54 million.

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