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Top 3 highest-paid players in Colorado Avalanche history

DENVER, CO – FEBRUARY 26: Joe Sakic #19 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the Detroit Red Wings during the 2016 Coors Light Stadium Series Alumni Game at Coors Field on February 26, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Red Wings 5-2. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Who are the highest-paid players in the history of the Colorado Avalanche?

The Colorado Avalanche can say that they have had some of the NHL’s best players throughout their history. Who are the top-3 highest-paid players in franchise history?

Currently, Colorado’s top-3 highest-paid players are Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, and Nathan MacKinnon. MacKinnon will be receiving a contract extension at some point, and he should be in line to be paid as one of the best players in the entire NHL.

As the Avalanche continue to try and sign centerman Nazem Kadri and will soon look to MacKinnon’s contract, let’s take a look at the top-3 highest-paid players in Avalanche history.

There are some great names, and we’ll start off with perhaps the biggest of them all.

#1 Highest-Paid Colorado Avalanche: Joe Sakic: 1-year, $17 million in 1997

The Colorado Avalanche were on the verge of losing Joe Sakic to the New York Rangers. He was a restricted free agent at the time, and teams who wanted to take on his services had to offer him an offer sheet. The Colorado Avalanche would need to match that offer sheet in order to keep Sakic.

That offer was $17 million… For one season.

Prior to the 2005-06 season, the NHL did not have a salary cap.

The Rangers could have had Sakic with a 37-year old Wayne Gretzky but the Avalanche were smart to match the offer. Not only were they smart, but it was thanks to Harrison Ford. The Avalanche’s ownership at the time had something to do with the movie Air Force One, which you might know of a famous actor who starred in it: Harrison Ford.

Thankfully, that movie went on to become a huge success, providing a lot of money, enough money to be able to make up for that $17 million for Sakic.

So, at the end of the day, that contract was not over an extended period of time, but it was a crucial test toward keeping Sakic a member of the Colorado Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques for his entire career.

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