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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Colorado’s Makar Proves Best Offense Is A Good Defenseman

  • Cale Makar is leading the Stanley Cup Playoffs in points per game (2.5).
  • His $9M AAV will prove to be an excellent value in the longterm.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Avalanche’s offense was one of the NHL’s most potent during the regular season, but their most effective weapon in the playoffs has been a defenseman.

Cale Makar was an offensive juggernaut in Colorado’s first-round sweep of Nashville, accumulating 10 points — the most in the NHL at the time — and averaging the most points per game in the postseason (2.5).

The fourth-overall selection in the 2017 draft has been even better than advertised — and his team-friendly contract should provide excellent long-term value.

  • Last summer, Makar signed a six-year, $54M extension that gave him the NHL’s fourth-highest cap hit among defensemen ($9M).
  • But next season, he’ll be bumped down to ninth, and then 10th after that — creating more cap space for Colorado.
  • Makar (86) trailed only Roman Josi (96) for defenseman points this season and had the fifth-best plus/minus (48) at any position.
  • The 23-year-old is currently competing with two 31-year-olds (Josi and Victor Hedman) as a finalist for the Norris Trophy.

After dominating Nashville, Makar and co. turn their attention to St. Louis — a historically favorable matchup.

The Avs have won seven consecutive playoff games against the Blues dating back to the 2001 Western Conference Finals — the longest such streak in franchise history.

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