Colorado Avalanche: Top 5 Nathan MacKinnon Moments

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Feb 3, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) celebrates a goal against the Dallas Stars during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Avalanche defeat the Stars 3-2 in the overtime shootout. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon has signed a seven-year contract worth $44,100,000. That’s only news by now.

It’s noteworthy that the contract will eventually make MacKinnon the highest paid player on the team. It carries an average annual value of $6.3 million. In reality, though, it shakes out like this:

  • 2016-17: $5,000,000
  • 2017-18: $5,750,000
  • 2018-19: $6,750,000
  • 2019-20: $6,750,000
  • 2020-21: $6,150,000
  • 2021-22: $6,850,000
  • 2022-23: $6,850,000

So, it’s not until the 2018-19 season that MacKinnon breaks the Matt Duchene salary ceiling.

That’s just fine, waiting until then. There’s no question Nathan MacKinnon has talent and potential. However, that doesn’t necessarily come with a guarantee — ask the Edmonton Oilers. MacKinnon, currently playing like the second or third best player on the team, has a couple years to become the best — and get paid accordingly.

MacKinnon had a typically humble response to signing this big contract. He said during a conference call:

"“Obviously, the pressure is there since signing this. They’re making it a point that they want me to help us get back to the Cup. That’s the whole goal behind this.”"

What’s more, Nathan states that he knows it’s time for him to step up and take more of a leadership role.

What that can look like can be a lot of different things. I don’t think he’s the kind of leader Gabriel Landeskog or Erik Johnson is. I think he’s more of a Matt Duchene type leader — lead by example until he has enough age and experience to lead off the ice as well. (Nate, that may mean doing your own laundry and paying your own bills — sorry.)

With the idea of Nathan MacKinnon leading by example, let’s look at some of his top moments — in just three years, he’s already had some memorable ones.

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