Avalanche’s MacKinnon talks possibility of becoming highest-paid NHLer

Colorado Avalanche centre Nathan MacKinnon. (David Zalubowski/AP)

HENDERSON, Nev. – Nathan MacKinnon has a legitimate chance to become the highest paid player in the NHL.

So, will the Colorado Avalanche superstar surpass Connor McDavid’s $12.5 million AAV on his next contract?

“You have to ask Pat,” MacKinnon said Thursday, referring to agent Pat Brisson of Creative Artists Agency. “I don’t know. I’m hoping we’ll get it done pretty soon.”

Speaking to Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman for a recording of the 32 Thoughts podcast outside of Las Vegas, MacKinnon assured that his much-anticipated, long-term contract extension is “totally” on a path to completion.

But he admitted that the paperwork has taken longer than he thought it would to finalize.

“It should be done shortly, I’m hoping,” MacKinnon said. “I love Joe [Sakic, president of hockey operations] and C-Mac [GM Chris MacFarland]. Those guys are great. It’s just a little business.”

MacKinnon, 27, has been considered one of the sport’s greatest bargains, having exceeded expectations during his six-year, $44.1-million contract, which concludes at the end of 2022-23.

The forward’s team-friendly $6.3-million cap hit helped give management the financial space to build a championship roster in 2021-22.

Certainly, MacKinnon will hit eight figures and eclipse Mikko Rantanen’s $9.25 million AAV to become Colorado’s highest-paid player, and it is possible he gives McDavid a run.

MacKinnon admitted that he assumed his new contract extension would be done on July 13, the first day he was eligible to re-sign.

“It’s been a longer process than I thought, I guess,” MacKinnon said.

“Doesn’t work like that, I guess. But it’s OK. I think it should be done shortly, I’m hoping. That’s the goal.”

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.