It was recently announced that last year’s Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche re-signed their star center Nathan MacKinnon to an eight-year contract extension starting in the 2023-2024 season.
This lucrative deal worth $100.8 million ensures that the Avalanche will have one of their best players tied down for several seasons. Mackinnon is one of the favorites with betting sites to win the Hart Trophy and this deal that keeps him in Colorado will ensure that his future is secure and he remains near the top of the odds table.
MacKinnon for MVP?
Despite his excellent performances in the regular season and especially during the playoffs, MacKinnon was not one of the leading candidates for the MVP title in 2021-2022. However, he has come second in the Hart Trophy voting twice (2017-2018, 2019-2020) and third once (2020-2021).
Even though it’s still very early in the season to discuss award winners, MacKinnon could have a solid chance of winning this year’s Hart Trophy. If he stays healthy throughout the season, he can perform as well as anyone, if not better. Not to mention that there could be some bias during the voting process since he’s come so close to winning many times.
Current MVP Odds
Remember that the MVP title can be very subjective. With that in mind, here are the top 10 candidates for the 2022-2023 Hart Trophy award:
NHL Awards Betting Odds 2022 - Odds & Predictions
Looking Back: MacKinnon in Colorado
Nathan MacKinnon was selected by the Colorado Avalanche as the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft and has spent the entirety of his career playing for the Avalanche. His game improved significantly during the 2017-2018 season, which got him his first NHL All-Star Game appearance in 2017. He also played in the All-Star Games in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2022.
In 2022, MacKinnon’s outstanding playoff performance led the Colorado Avalanche to their first Stanley Cup win in over 20 years. MacKinnon was tied with Evander Kane (Edmonton Oilers) as the top scorer in the postseason with 13 goals and 24 points. He also scored and assisted in Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, which gave Colorado the Cup.
Looking Ahead: the Avalanche in 2022-23
Along with MacKinnon’s signature for eight years, Avalanche re-signed Valeri Nichushkin, Josh Manson, and Artturi Lehkonen. They have also extended the contracts of Cale Makar until 2026-2027 and captain Gabriel Landeskog until 2028-2029. These contract extensions mean that the team’s core, led by MacKinnon, will remain the same for the foreseeable future.
But, Colorado will definitely miss one of their key players in the previous season, Nazem Kadri, whom they had to let go due to the salary cap. Also, the Avalanche replaced their veteran goalie Darcy Kuemper with Alexandar Georgiev, who will need to exceed expectations if he wants to adequately fill Kuemper’s shoes between the pipes.
With their core squad intact, though, it’s no surprise that the Avalanche is the odds-on favourite for a back-to-back championship. MacKinnon has stated that he wants to win more than one championship with Colorado. If all the key Avalanche players remain fit and in form, fans can expect a strong contention for the title in 2022-2023.
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