The Colorado Avalanche booked their biggest star on Tuesday, as Nathan McKinnon signed an eight-year, $100.8 million extension.
The deal, which carries a $12.6 million cap once it starts before the 2023-24 season, would make McKinnon the highest-paid player in the NHL — surpassing the $12.5 million average annual value of the deal Conor McDavid signed with Edmonton Oilers in July 2017. That limit max It is expected to account for 15.27 percent from the Colorado cover area.
There are, of course, multiple ways to determine the “highest salary” – there is a clear AAV / cap value, but this does not always coincide with the total salary of the player. This season, for example, McDavid has the largest cap at $12.5 million, but he’ll take a paycheck of $12 million on his deal. for every Friendly Cap, the highest-paid player in 2022-23 based on gross salary is Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin at $13 million, followed by New York Rangers star Artemi Panarin ($12.5 million). Five players – Alexander Barkov and Sergey Bobrovsky of the Panthers, MacDavid and fellow nurse Euler Darnell, and Sharks defender Eric Carlson – will net $12 million in salaries next season.
Whichever way you look at it, McKinnon will be the highest-paid player in the league in terms of both cap and salary – he’s set to earn a whopping $16.5 million salary once his new deal goes into effect next July. (Among the top five salaries of next season, Doogie Hamilton with $12.6 million, followed by Seth Jones, Kirill Kaprizov and Alex Ovechkin with $12.5 million, and Alex Petrangelo is sixth with $12.3 million.)
With a Stanley Cup win and with Colorado’s core cooped up and ready for more, it was really just a question of when — not whether — McKinnon would raise the bar for mega contracts. Long considered the league’s biggest deal with AAV’s $6.3 million worth of his current contract, he has once again hinted at taking less money back in favor of letting the team sign more players. But in the end, there is no doubt that he proved his worth to the club. In doing so, it opens the door for the next star player in line to get a big payday.
For the sake of simplicity – and to best illustrate trends in capping – we are reforming our focus and definition of “higher wages” to AAV, looking at the most recent contracts that have set new standards in capping. (Spoiler alert: all but one of these players were the first overall pick.) From this, we can see how the contracts have changed — and of course, we start to anticipate what the MacKinnon deal could mean for the next one The highest paid player.
July 5, 2017: Conor McDavid signs an eight-year $100 million deal
After drafting his first overall in 2015 and then making him the youngest captain in NHL history, in 2016, it took five days in Connor McDavid’s window as a restricted free agent eligible for extension in the summer of 2017 to lock the Oilers up his long-term lead and make him the highest-grossing player. League wages – and by a very large margin. Its $12.5 million cap is a $2 million increase over the previous high. At the time of signing, McDavid’s AAV represented 16.67 percent of Edmonton’s salary cap.
McDoid, who was 20, had one year left on his entry level deal – no bridge deal here! – And he just earned his first three titles as the winner of 2016-2017 Art Ross, Ted Lindsay, and Hart.
In the season following his extended signature, he again won Art Ross and Ted Lindsay’s races while still at ELC – so far he’s won a total of four scoring titles, three Ted Lindsay Awards, and two Most Valuable Players. Last spring, we also got a fitting look at what the McDavid-led playoff round looks like: In 16 games, the center has scored 10 goals and 33 points. The Oilers were knocked out by Avalanche McKinnon in the Western Conference Final, however, despite not appearing in the Cup Final, McDavid still held the lead in the playoff points. He will remain the highest-paid player in the NHL by max for the 2022-23 season.
July 9, 2014: Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane sign identical eight-year deals worth $84 million
The careers of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane will be forever intertwined – and that applies to contract negotiations, too. The two set a new standard in July 2014 when they signed eight-year matching deals, each carrying a $10.5 million cap. All deals were valued at 15.22 percent of Chicago’s ceiling.
This is not the first time that this pair has signed identical trades on the same day. Five years before making the Blackhawks among the highest-paid players in the league (and keeping their then-pending UFA miles away from the open market), Toews and Kane signed their first major financial deals in December 2009 with RFA still pending in each. Entry contracts. All deals were worth $31.5 million over five years, and were worth $6.3 million.
The $84 million deals in 2014 were significant not only because they gave players the highest scores in NHL history at the time (and the first to enter the double-digit AAV), but were also the first huge deals since 2013. contracts. Teams can no longer afford to condone extended periods and circumvent the salary cap through heavily front-loading contracts in exchange for additional, low-salary years on the back end of the deal.
The Blackhawks have enjoyed historical success with Toews and Kane as the mainstays of the franchise for a long time. A year after their long-term lockout, the duo lifted Chicago’s third Stanley Cup in six years—though, technically speaking, they were still on those five-year contracts they signed in 2009. Since those mega deals officially went in Influence to open the 2015-16 season, the Blackhawks were unable to add to the tournament’s success.
Now, as they enter the final season of these contracts, the biggest question for Toews and Kane is whether they will actually end those deals still wearing the Blackhawks’ threads.
Fun fact: Netminder Carey Price spent just three days in the common spotlight as the highest-paid player in the NHL by AAV alongside Toews and Kane when he signed his eight-year extension with Montreal Canadiens on July 2, 2017. McDavid’s deal was executed on July 5.
January 10, 2008: Alex Ovechkin signs a 13-year deal worth $124 million
Alex Ovechkin’s 13-year deal was apparently signed before the new CBA began, capping the term of extensions at eight years. However, even with a 13-year span, the deal still gave the Washington Capitals captain the highest cap ever at the time at $95,38,462 per year. When he signed it, the AAV accounted for 18.96 percent of Washington’s salary cap. From the time it was signed until it expired at the end of the 2020-21 season, the deal remained the largest in NHL history by total value at $124 million. Given what he meant for the franchise and all the hardware it’s brought over the years—including the much-anticipated Stanley Cup in spring 2018, it’s proven to be a worthwhile investment. Perhaps the biggest proof of this was the fact that once he was ready to make a new deal with Washington, they kept the same AAV. He will receive $9.5 million from AAV through 2025-26.