A great gift for Nathan MacKinnon

Forward Nathan MacKinnon is swimming with happiness these days with the Colorado Avalanche’s recent Stanley Cup win and, judging by the words of general manager Joe Sakic, he may soon have one more reason to be happy.

The star player will enter the final year of his seven-year, $44.1 million contract in 2022-23 and may be eligible for full free agency thereafter. Aside from the fact that Sakic does not intend to wait a year before extending the tie between the two parties, he said Thursday on the sidelines of the National League’s amateur draft.

The GM has every reason to do so: The number 29 is secure on the offensive and has distinguished itself many times in the regular season as well as in the playoffs. His 32 goals and 56 assists for 85 points in 65 games in 2021-2022 are a testament to that.

“It doesn’t have to be right before the free agent market opens. [en 2023]. Granted, he still has a year left, but we hope to settle that with him with an extension this summer,” Sakic confirmed, as reported by the website NHL.com.

However, despite the Chairman’s wishes, the implications of such a decision will not be taken lightly. Therefore, there is a risk that the planning of the potential deal will affect the outcome of other negotiations, particularly those of skaters, who are expected to benefit from full autonomy from Wednesday. Among them are Nazem Kadri, Jack Johnson and Valeri Nichushkin, all key elements of the Avs’ recent triumph.

“We have to, because we have to look to our future. We kind of have a goal in mind that we want to achieve in terms of what we want to do here,” Sakic commented.

who stays

When asked who can stay in Denver and who is risking packing their bags, the former player tries to hide his cards.

“I won’t go into specifics on who is affected but hopefully I can deliver some news and not miss out on anything in the market on Wednesday. We talk together. Of course it starts on Wednesday and we have time. We met all the agents in Montreal this week and once the draft is finalized the dialogue will continue. I want to get ahead with some guys. However, we know that we cannot sign everyone.

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