The National Hockey League has a brand new highest-paid player, and it is none other than recent Stanley Cup champion Nathan MacKinnon.
The pride of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia earned himself the greatest trophy in all of sports this past June, and just three months later MacKinnon has made history. Beginning in the 2023-24 season (the season following this upcoming 2022-23 hockey year) he will own the largest annual average value of any contract in NHL history.
MacKinnon’s new deal will run for eight years and total $100.8 million, which works out to be a seasonal value of $12.6 million – $100K more per season than that of the previous record holder in Connor McDavid. It may seem tedious, but MacKinnon knew exactly what he was doing in his negotiations to own the record title over his fellow Canadian rival.
The 27-year-old put up 32 goals and 88 points in just 65 games for the Avalanche last season, before scoring 13 goals and 24 points in 20 Stanley Cup Playoff games en route to the Stanley Cup. Selected first overall in the 2013 NHL Draft, MacKinnon won the 2014 Calder Trophy, the 2020 Lady Byng Award and was a finalist for the Hart Trophy three times. He is now also a Stanley Cup champion.
“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,” Avalanche General Manager Chris MacFarland said. “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.”
MacKinnon has 242 goals, 406 assists and 648 points in his 638 career regular season games played. He also has amassed 41 goals and 52 assists for 93 points in 70 postseason games. He did so while playing on one of the league’s biggest bargain contracts in the business. He is in the final year of a contract that pays him $6.3 million per year that he signed back in 2016. MacKinnon has an estimated career earnings of $40 million.
Prior to his career in the NHL, MacKinnon earned a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League title and Memorial Cup with the Halifax Mooseheads during the 2012-13 CHL season.