Ramblings: Chara, Subban & Yandle Retire; MacKinnon’s New Contract; Drafts Targets Past Pick #100 (Sept 21)

Alexander MacLean

2022-09-21

Within the span of an hour yesterday we had retirement announcements from three excellent defencemen over the last two decades, with Zdeno Chara, P.K. Subban, and Keith Yandle all hanging up their skates.

Chara leaves as the all-time games played leader among defencemen, a cup winner in 2011, and a virtual lock for the Hall of Fame. Yandle leaves as the NHL's Iron-man record holder, and having led an extremely successful career as a points-producer from the blueline. Meanwhile, P.K. Subban retires at only 33, with back injuries having taken away the explosiveness that defined his game in the early years, culminating in a Norris Trophy.

In all, a big piece of recent hockey history was finalized yesterday, and as both fans and fantasy GMs we can all appreciate how much these three brought to the game through their excellent careers.

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Nathan MacKinnon signed an extension that makes him the highest paid player (based on cap hit) in the league next season. His new cap hit will be $12.6 million, and that's still going to be a very fair number for him in fantasy leagues. My projections had an extension coming in for him above $13 million per year, and with the cap expected to rise quickly, this deal may not even age poorly as it hits the last few years. In the meantime, Colorado's depth may take a bit of a hit in the short term, but then again they have never really overpaid their depth players, and they have some young players ready to step into larger roles.

Accepting a cap hit just $100,000 more than the current highest paid player in Connor McDavid is also the kind of one-upmanship that we get with uber competitive players like MacKinnon.

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The Marco Scandella injury news (hip surgery – out at least six months) means that there is a little more of an opportunity for