Not long after the Blackhawks reportedly agreed to a huge and questionable contract extension with Seth Jones, the Avalanche handed Cale Makar a big deal that’s tough to argue with. That’s the power of someone as brilliant as Cale Makar. Just about any price tag makes you shrug your shoulders and say, “Yeah, that’s about right.”
Avalanche sign Cale Makar for six years, $9M cap hit
The Avalanche confirmed that Makar, 22, signed a six-year contract. They didn’t officially note Makar’s $9 million cap hit, but multiple reporters did. In fact, Cale Makar’s reps tweeted out the specifics year-to-year:
Year by year: $8M, $9M, $11M, $10.6M, $8.7M, $6.7M
With escrow % dropping each year and potential end of CBA before Year 6, structure just as important as AAV to maximize take-home 💰 https://t.co/hxu9PswDG6
— Bartlett Hockey (@BartlettHockey) July 24, 2021
Makar ranked among the Norris Trophy finalists in 2020-21, and may have won if he didn’t miss some time with injuries. After a brilliant Calder-winning campaign in 2019-20, Makar generated an impressive point-per-game in 2020-21 (44 in 44).
Naturally, it’s about more than those simple counting stats with Makar.
At times, he seems almost superhuman when it comes to “walking the line.” Maybe it would be more accurate to say he waltzes the line? Either way, he’s a tremendous player, and a blast to watch.
Good time to dust off the Cale Makar mixtape from last season pic.twitter.com/MpiEJGH9Hy
— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) July 24, 2021
You know a player is special when someone notes that they have “no comps.”
Cale Makar (who has zero comps) is projected to be the most valuable defenceman in the league and is immediately on one of the best contracts if he stays at that level. A nice deal for Colorado. pic.twitter.com/UgOY8DSCMc
— dom at the athletic (@domluszczyszyn) July 24, 2021
At that $9M AAV, Makar carries the Avalanche’s second-highest cap hit. Mikko Rantanen‘s $9.25M AAV ranks a hair higher. Colorado will almost certainly pay Nathan MacKinnon more down the line, but MacKinnon’s remarkable bargain contract ($6.3M cap hit) runs for two more seasons.
With Makar, Devon Toews, and Samuel Girard all signed for three years or more, the Avalanche continue to deploy one of the most enviable collections of defensive talent in the NHL. That they’re paying reasonable (or downright cheap) prices for them is even more impressive.
Now that Cale Makar is on a six-year deal, the #Avs have him, Devon Toews and Samuel Girard all under contract for a combined $18.1 million AAV.
Not a bad price for three top-pair level defensemen.
— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) July 24, 2021
Beyond how the Avalanche will spend in the future, this is interesting fodder for other defensemen. Could reigning Norris winner Adam Fox be in line for a similar payday? Fox’s contract expires after 2021-22.