Nathan MacKinnon reiterates he ‘definitely didn’t take a discount’ in 2016

Colorado Avalanche's Nathan MacKinnon fields a question about his earnings, pointing out that he did not take a discount at the time, and simply outplayed the contract he signed, with no complaints.

Colorado Avalanche centre Nathan MacKinnon was a popular guy on Thursday and it had nothing to do with his team’s fifth-straight win.

MacKinnon made a comment in a Forbes story about his team friendly seven-year, $44.1 million contract that left many praising the star player for his selflessness — and had others scratching their heads.

“On my next deal, I’ll take less again,” the 24-year-old said. “Because I want to win with this group.”

By using the word “again,” MacKinnon was believed to be implying that he took less than market value in his current deal. But in the same Forbes story, he’d stated, “I was worth that at the time,” in regard to the seven-year pact.

MacKinnon was asked about his viral comment Thursday and reiterated this point.

“I definitely didn’t take a discount when I signed that deal,” he told reporters post-game. “I think that’s totally fair for where I was at. Obviously, I’m thankful to be making the amount of money I’m making.”

MacKinnon’s $6.3 million cap hit is well below his market value, given that he has posted 196 points the past two seasons and is now a household MVP candidate. This season, he has 44 points in 28 games.

But when he was a 20-year-old RFA, MacKinnon had proven much less to the Avalanche, with 153 points in 218 games. When Colorado offered him a two-year bridge and a seven-year deal, he took the security and the larger guaranteed payday.

Now, he’s one of the NHL’s biggest bargains. He knows he is worth more now, even though he wasn’t at the time the deal was signed.

“That’s not a complaint,” he said. “It just is what it is.”

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