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Nathan MacKinnon has had a pretty cool off-season. Just a few months after housing the Stanley Cup, the Colorado Avalanche center has put pen to paper on the biggest deal in the NHL.
The Avs signed the 2013 first-overall pick to a mammoth 8-year contract extension worth $100.8 million. The AAV on that deal is $12.6 million, which makes Nate Dogg the highest-paid player in the NHL.
The 8-year term takes MacKinnon through the 2030-31 season and comes with a no-movement clause.
This is the biggest deal a player has signed in the NHL’s salary cap era, which started with the 2005-06 season after the season-long lockout canceled the 2005-05 season.
While there’s no doubt that Nate MacKinnon is getting paid, it still underscores how much less hockey players make than other athletes in the four major sports.
MacKinnon’s $12.6 million is enough to make the NHL’s top earner, but let’s compare that to other leagues.
According to Sportico, LeBron James is the NBA’s highest earner at $36.9 million per year, Trevor Bauer nets $37.9 million annually, while Matt Stafford is at the top of the NFL heap with $70.3 million.
Still, Nate Dogg more than earned his extension. Of course, he helped the Avalanche to their third Stanley Cup since 2002 and put up 88 points in 65 games during the regular season.
As it stands, the Avs are the favorites to hoist the Cup once again, and you can bet that MacKinnon will be a major factor in their shot at repeating.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle