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Colorado Avalanche sign Cale Makar to nice extension

6 years x $9 million.

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Colorado Avalanche
Jan 18, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (8) celebrates after scoring a goal in the second period against the St. Louis Blues at the Pepsi Center.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Avalanche have re-signed their top defenseman, Cale Makar, to a six year contract worth $9 million per season. Makar won the Calder a season ago, and finished second in Norris voting this year after putting up a point per game over the 44 games he played in the shortened season.

Makar’s contract AAV lines up with some of the other top young defense contracts in the league, but is definitely at the head of that group in terms of cap hit:

  • Makar: $9 million
  • Heiskanen: $8.45 million
  • Thomas Chabot: $8 million
  • Jacob Trouba: $8 million
  • Aaron Ekblad: $7.5 million (2016, outlier in terms of signing date)

This contract for Makar fits with UFA and older RFA contracts more than young RFA deals, to be honest:

  • Josi: $9.059 million
  • Subban: $9 million (2014, outlier in terms of signing date)
  • Pietrangelo: $8.8 million
  • Ekman-Larsson: $8.25 million

Overall, it’s a healthy contract, but completely worth it and one Makar will live up to, especially since this covers the bulk of his most productive years and the Avs no longer have to worry about him until he’s 29 and the rest of the core are in their 30s. The Avs are now spending 30% of the salary cap ($25 million) on defense, which is about where it should be. Teams like the Lightning, Panthers, Penguins, Capitals, and Leafs are all spending in that range and they’re all the competitive teams that have the bulk of their defense locked up to contracts currently.

The Avs now have $20 million in cap space to find a goalie, re-sign Gabriel Landeskog, Tyson Jost, Brandon Saad, and fill out the remaining roster spots.