McKinnon signs an eight-year contract with Avalanche

Nathan McKinnon He signed an eight-year contract with the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

It’s great to be done with it,” McKinnon said. “I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I didn’t want to go to seaosn without a contract, I knew I would be asked about it all season long, so I’m really happy.”

The 27-year-old center has one season remaining on a seven-year contract that he signed with Avalanche on July 8, 2016. He could have become an unrestricted free agent after that season.

“Nathan is clearly one of the most prominent players in the National Hockey League, so the long-term extension was something we wanted to do before the season started,” said Avalanche general manager Chris MacFarland. “He has that rare combination of speed and power with a highly competitive level that makes him a player from generation to generation. We are delighted that he will continue to be a member of this team and this community for many years to come.”

McKinnon told reporters on September 15 that he wants to sign the new contract before the avalanche season begins on October 12 against the Chicago Blackhawks at Ball Arena in Denver.

“I’d like to get it done, sure, that’s no secret,” McKinnon said the next day on the NHL North American Player Media Tour during an interview with the “NHLTheRink” podcast. “I feel we’re close and there’s nothing to report, but I think the intentions are for both sides to get it done. That’s the main thing, I’m not looking forward to playing or anything else. If I had to, I would have no distraction because it’s too much.”

“It’s on your mind a lot. I think about it a lot, my future, but my goal is to be a lifelong thinker.”

McKinnon tied with Edmonton Oilers ahead Evander King Leading in goals (13) and had 24 points during last season’s Stanley Cup playoffs to help Avalanche win the Stanley Cup. He finished second to Colorado with 88 points (32 goals and 56 assists) in 65 regular season games but led it with 1.35 points per game.

“We have a kind of stadium, well we think we have a stadium in place [MacKinnon’s contract is] “We’re hopeful at some point. … He’s obviously got another year, but we’re hoping to get something with him, an extension, this summer,” said Joe Sakic, head of Avalanche in the 2022 NHL Draft on July 7.

Since 2017-18, McKinnon has finished third in the National Hockey League with 442 points (167 goals, 275 assists) in 338 games, trailing the Oilers’ positions. Conor McDavid (549) and Leon Drystel (479). He was a Hart Cup finalist as the NHL MVP in three of those five seasons (2017-18, 2019-20, 2020-21).

“The deal I made at the time I signed it was completely fair,” McKinnon said. “No complaints at all, but you don’t want to be labeled as the highest-paid person in your entire career. But I see some numbers on what I’m looking for, they’re not right, crazy numbers. But I hope a deal gets done that people see is fair to both sides. “.

Colorado has qualified for postseason each of the past five seasons and six of nine since McKinnon was drafted. They’ve missed the postseason in each of the previous three.

A #1 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, MacKinnon scored 648 points (242 goals, 406 assists) in 638 regular season games and 93 points (41 goals, 52 assists) in 70 playoffs. His 1.33 points per game post-season ranks third in history behind Wayne Gretzky (1.84) and Mario Lemieux (1.61) among those who have played at least 50 games.

McKinnon Joins Man of Defense Cal Makar (six years) and captain Gabriel Landskog (Eight years), each signed a contract before last season, as part of the avalanche, he signed a long-term one.

“Our core is an essential part of our success and that’s led by Nate,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said on Monday. “His contract has been coming up for quite some time. He got it. We’re really happy he’s back and excited for him to sign the big deal and be a part of it for a long time to come.”

Dan Rosen Senior Writer for NHL.com contributed to this report