Colorado Avalanche: Predicting Cale Makar’s Second Contractby Dom Lunardo July 21, 2021 1 comment
Every once in a while, a defenseman comes along and completely knocks your socks off. Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche is one of those players.
Heading into the 2021-22 season, Makar is set to become a restricted free agent. His entry-level contract is set to expire, leaving him in need of a new one. For someone as talented and coveted as Makar is, this is a big deal for the entire front office in Denver.
But what exactly will his new contract look like? What kind of cap hit and term are we talking about?
The Sales Pitch
Makar wasted little time before “making his mark” in the NHL. After winning gold with Team Canada during the 2018 World Junior Hockey Championships in Buffalo, N.Y., and winning the 2019 Hobey Baker Award as the most outstanding player in college hockey, the Calgary native jumped right into the Stanley Cup Playoffs and delivered for the Avs. As a 19-year-old, Makar tallied one goal and five assists in 10 playoff games. He quickly emerged as a star in the making with his speed, skill, play-making ability, and brimming confidence. A proverbial superstar was born. Since then, it’s been nothing but roses for Makar and the Avalanche. This is a franchise that continues to establish itself as one of the most explosive teams in hockey. The future is sky-high for one of the game’s most electrifying young blue-liners.
Makar had a phenomenal season in 2020-21, posting 44 points (eight goals, 36 assists) in just 44 games. His point-per-game average was capped off with a plus-17 rating in 24:19 worth of ice time. The quarterback for one of hockey’s most lethal power-play units, Makar has transformed himself into one of the most feared defensemen in the show. A threat in all three zones, Makar has a skill set that is off the charts and is capable of almost anything. After being a Norris Trophy finalist, it’s not a question of if, but rather when, Makar will get his hands on the trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman.
A “Starry” Comparable
As they say, everything is bigger in Texas. Enter Miro Heiskanen of the Dallas Stars. This past weekend saw Heiskanen and the Stars agree to terms on a lucrative eight-year, $67.6 million contract extension, which carries with it an average annual value of $8.45 million. Makar and his representatives should absolutely be “chomping at the bit” with this news.
Any hockey fan will tell you that there are many similarities between Heiskanen and Makar. Both can absolutely fly, are good defensively, love to carry the puck, and take pride in being difference makers on every shift. When you factor in Heiskanen’s aura and his overall importance to the Stars franchise, this news certainly couldn’t have broken at a better time. Look for Makar’s camp to use the Heiskanen signing as an accurate bargaining chip ahead of next season.
The Final Verdict
Even in the midst of a “flat cap era” brought on in large part by the COVID-19 pandemic, Makar should be able to “cash in” this summer. He is hands-down one of the game’s elite defensemen and a game-changer in every sense of the imagination.
At the tender age of 22, Makar is just tipping the surface of potential as long as a country mile. Look for Makar to command a whopping eight-year, $71.2 million contract extension.
This kid really is that good. Stay tuned, Avalanche fans.
Follow Dom Lunardo on Twitter @TapetoTape88
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