The big news in the hockey world today is that Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan Mackinnon told Forbes that he “had no regrets and would do it again” in regards to his horrendous contract, which aged quite nicely and is very team friendly. Mackinnon was quoted as saying he would take a team friendly deal again because he wants to win with this group.
Give me a break.
In 2016, Nathan Mackinnon was an RFA. He was an RFA in a world before RFA’s had rights like they do today. This was preceding both the Johnny Gaudreau and William Nylander holdouts which have significantly impacted the RFA landscape in terms of leverage for players. Now Mackinnon was far from some scrub. He won the Calder trophy, and had put together 3 decent seasons on his ELC. But in his contract year, he scored 21 goals. TWENTY ONE GOALS!
The Salary cap in 2016 was 71.4 million. Nathan Mackinnon’s contract was for 7 years x 6.3 million. Thats 11.3 % of his teams salary cap. To put it into perspective, here are some contract year stats accompanied by percentages of the salary cap occupied by some local villains in comparison:
William Nylander Contract year stats: 82 GP- 20 g- 41a- 61 pts
Contract: 7 x 6.9 million AAV
Cap Percentage: 11.41 %
Contract year stats: 82 GP -26g- 68a- 94 pts Contract: 6 years x 10.893 million AAV
Cap Percentage: 13.37%
Contract year stats: 65GP- 37g -36a -73pts
Contract: 5 years x 11.6 million AAV
Cap Percentage: 14.63%
Contract year stats: 72GP – 21g – 31a -52pts
Contract: 7 years x 6.3 million AAV
Cap Percentage: 11.3%
When you compare the production vs compensation, Mackinnon’s alleged sweetheart deal doesn’t look so great now, does it? Much like Nylander, improved productivity and an rising salary cap have suddenly made his contract look like grand larceny. Nylander is in fact Mackinnon’s closest comparable of the 4 players coming off of ELC’s. It just goes to show you: take what you read with a grain of salt. Especially if it is something being wrote specifically to piss Leafs fans off.
And in case you’re wondering, Mackinnon only scored 16 the year before he scored 21. He went into his RFA contract with 3 years that were 21, 16, and 21 goals, respectively. “I’d do again?” If by “it” you mean squeezing your team for every penny, then yes. I bet you would, Nathan.