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MacKinnon hopeful extension 'should be done shortly'

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Nathan MacKinnon is optimistic that he's on the verge of inking a long-term extension with the Colorado Avalanche.

"It should be done shortly, I'm hoping," MacKinnon said Thursday, per Sportsnet's Luke Fox. "I love Joe (Sakic, president of hockey operations) and C-Mac (general manager Chris MacFarland). Those guys are great. It's just a little business.”

MacKinnon became eligible to sign an extension this offseason. He thought he might have reached an agreement earlier in the summer, but he is now aiming to sign before the puck drops in October.

"I'd prefer it to be done," he said, according to Daily Faceoff's Matt Larkin. "I just don't want to talk about it at all, and if it's not done (before the season) I probably will stop talking to them until after the season.

"I know it's a cliché thing, but it's tough, it gets emotional, you feel like it gets personal sometimes, so I'd like to get it done so it's not a distraction."

The 27-year-old has a realistic case to usurp Connor McDavid's league-high $12.5-million average annual value, but he isn't banking on that.

"You have to ask (agent) Pat (Brisson)," MacKinnon said, per Fox.

MacKinnon did say his new deal's annual value won't be in the single digits, according to Larkin.

Brisson weighed in on the negotiations a couple of hours later.

"We've been having ongoing discussions for a couple months now, and recently, the talks have been more progressive but still a lot to cover and nothing to report," he said, per TSN's Pierre LeBrun.

MacKinnon has earned $6.3 million per year since 2016-17. Since then, he's managed 495 points in 420 regular-season games while adding 83 in 63 playoff contests. He won the Stanley Cup this past season. He's a three-time Hart Trophy finalist and he won the Lady Byng Trophy in 2020.

The highest-paid players on the Avalanche are currently Mikko Rantanen ($9.25 million) and Cale Makar ($9 million). Colorado has $56 million committed to its 2023-24 team with a roster size of 12, according to CapFriendly.

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