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Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) kisses kisses the Stanley Cup after the Colorado Avalanche defeated Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 to win the 2022 Stanley Cup at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, Sunday, June 26, 2022. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

Nate The Great and Nate The Not So Good are sharing the sports stage in Denver.

Nathan MacKinnon has joined Nikola Jokic, Russell Wilson and The Bowlen family as MegaMillions&Billions Powerball winners in July, August and September in this once-dusty old cowtown to where the gold rush has returned.

Perhaps the Denver Mint should add another vault for the professional athletes and current and former franchise owners.

The Joker, DangeRuss and Nate Dogg have signed new contract extensions that are valued at $610 million combined, and the Bickering Bowlens received $4.65 billion.

Meanwhile, Nathaniel Hackett makes approximately $4 million this year. His Broncos are first in the NFL in penalty yardage (206) and last in red-zone touchdown percentage (zero), second in the AFC in points allowed (26) and 11th in points scored (32), and first locally and nationally in lame excuses and explanations and promises to do better.

Congratulations to Avalanche center MacKinnon, who was the most underpaid NHL player, but will become the league’s highest-paid player with his $100.8 million, six-season extension. Two months ago, Nuggets center Jokic became the highest-paid player in the NBA with a five-year, $264 mil deal. And this month, Broncos quarterback Wilson did not become the NFL’s highest-paid quarterback, but close when agreed to a five-year extension for $242.5 million. The Broncos sold for the highest sports sale in American history.

Stan Kroenke and The Walton Family & Friends can afford it. Kroenke’s net worth is estimated at $12.9 billion and Rob Walton’s $56.8 billion.

The origin of communal names Nate, Nathan and Nathaniel is biblical and means “gift from God." Nathan is a gift from the hockey gods. Nathaniel is a gag gift so far. Nathan became an NHL champ for the first time in June. As a first-time head coach, Nathaniel has been an NFL chump in September.

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Ten years after Sidney Crosby was awarded a 12-year, $104.8 million contract extension by the Penguins, MacKinnon, who turned 27 on Sept. 1, has surpassed his close friend and former idol, and Connor McDavid by $100,000 annually. The Avs and MacKinnon got the deal done just before training camp.

After hoisting the Stanley Cup, MacKinnon sought in the short off-season to be the best-paid player. He got his wish from one more Mac: newly promoted Avs general manager Chris MacFarland and president of hockey operations Joe Sakic, who, too, was in 1997 was the loftiest-paid NHL player when the Avalanche matched and blocked a bid by the Rangers by presenting him with a three-year, $21 million contract.

Sakic was selected 15th in the first round by the Nordiques in 1987. Former center Sakic chose center MacKinnon No. 1 overall for the Avalanche in 2013. Sakic spent his entire career with the Nordiques/Avs. MacKinnon possibly will. He’ll be 35 when the extension is completed and most likely someday will join Sakic in the Hall of Fame.

After nine seasons, Sakic had 308 goals and 513 assists, compared to MacKinnon’s 242 and 406. Sakic won two Stanley Cups. So MacKinnon has some catching-up to do. Sakic is from the Vancouver, British Columbia, suburb Burnaby, and MacKinnon is from the Halifax, Nova Scotia, suburb of Cole’s Harbour.

Nathan took the Stanley Cup home a month ago, but didn’t want a parade. He got one, anyway, and rode with his family atop a convertible firetruck through downtown on “Nathan MacKinnon Day’’ in Halifax.

The Avalanche continue to sign the core and corps of the roster to long-term contracts in an attempt to be Stanley Cup champions again — and again. At least 10 players have deals from four to eight seasons. Norris Trophy winner and Conn Smythe playoff MVP Cale Makar is on a six-year contract for $9 million per year, and captain Gabe Landeskog will be on the second season of an eight-year deal worth $56 million.

Kroenke is spending a proportion of his billions. Not only do his players have the top salaries in hockey and basketball, Aaron Donald of the Rams is the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL.

Mackinnon did settle his contract negotiations, but told reporters at a charity golf event in Castle Pines that he will not settle for one Stanley Cup.

Hackett would settle for one game Sunday he doesn’t have to apologize for.

Nathan has proven himself in Denver. Nathaniel has not.