Avs’ Makar extension talks: Is a $10m cap hit possible?

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DENVER (KXRM) — The Colorado Avalanche have $26 million with which to work this offseason to fill out the rest of the roster for the 2021-22 season, and one of the main goals is to re-sign restricted free agent Cale Makar.

Makar, who finished second in the Norris Trophy voting last season to the New York Rangers’ Adam Fox as the NHL’s best defenseman, tallied 44 points in as many games for Colorado in the 2020-21 season, and was also a point-per-game player in the playoffs.

What kind of payday should we expect to see given to the fourth-overall pick in 2017? If Dallas Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen’s recent contract extension (8-year, $67.6 million) is any indication, then Makar will almost assuredly rake in a number at least equal to the average-annual-value ($8.65 million) of Heiskanen’s deal, if not more, based solely off the fact that Makar’s offensive production was twice as much as Heiskanen (27 points in 55 games) last season.

“I think it might be worth a little more based on the numbers and stuff,” Colorado Hockey Now creator Adrian Dater said. “I’m gonna say more like $9 million is the high mark that the Avs want to go, maybe a little bit more. The highest-paid player on the team is Mikko Rantanen at $9.25 million, so they’ve gone that high before and I think they would again. Makar would deserve it, but that’s still to be haggled out here in a little bit.”

If Makar decides to sign a shorter contract leading into his unrestricted free agent days, it wouldn’t be shocking to see his AAV somewhere in the range of $10 million per year. A longer-term contract would knock down the AAV a bit to counter the extended security offered by the Avalanche.

“The unknown thing we don’t know is the term that Makar wants,” Dater said. “Maybe he only wants to do a 2-3 year bridge deal and take a little more money up front and not as much term and get to unrestricted free agency in four more years.”

The San Jose Sharks’ Erik Karlsson is the highest-paid defenseman in the NHL regarding average-annual-value ($11.5 million).

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