Leafs re-sign Auston Matthews to five-year contract

07 February, 2019, 06:26 | Author: Malcolm Quinn
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The Toronto Maple Leafs are in a very hard cap situation, with the new Auston Matthews extension, as well as the John Tavares and William Nylander contracts.

Matthews, 21, would have been a restricted free agent after this season.

This deal is slightly less than what Connor McDavid signed for with the Oilers in July 2017 as the 2016-17 Hart Trophy victor earns about $12.5 million annually. A first-round pick in 2016, Matthews will be 27 when this extension expires.

Year 4: $7.2M SB, $750K salary.

Mitch Marner's agent, Darren Ferris, is backtracking on his comments that the Toronto Maple Leafs are lowballing his client. The sniper has 178 points in 182 career regular-season National Hockey League games with Alex Ovechkin being the only player with a better goals per game rate since 2016/17 who have played at least 50 games. In his NHL debut on October 12, 2016 at Ottawa, he set a new NHL record for goals scored in an NHL debut with four.

Now into his third NHL season, Matthews has been as good as advertised with 178 points in 182 games (97 goals, sixth-most in the league over that span).

Matthews opened his NHL career against the Sens on October 12, 2016 at Ottawa where he set a league record for goals scored in an NHL debut (4). They're trying to make a Stanley Cup push this season, but the extensions of Nylander and Matthews to join Tavares long-term have their window wide open for a long time.

At this year's NHL All-Star Game, Matthews said he wasn't concerned about the deal getting done. I'm not too anxious about it. "But I grew up here, this is a place I've loved being a part of for the past two years and many more going forward", Marner said Wednesday.

Rather than commit the organization to an eight-year max contract, the Leafs chose to sign Matthews to a deal that brings him right to unrestricted free agency. Despite missing 14 games with a shoulder injury, the centre has the fourth most points on the team and second-highest goal total.

What will a Marner contract look like given Toronto's cap situation? If Kyle Dubas and the Toronto Maple Leafs' head office were willing to do $10M over 5 years, any offer sheet worth signing would put the team that submitted it into that top tier.

The deal, which keeps Matthews in Toronto until 2023-24, when he will be 26 years old, also ends the debate of another team signing the generational talent to an offer sheet this summer.

For Maple Leafs' management, however, that's a discussion for another day. Leafs project to have $16.4 million in cap space next season to sign him as well as Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson.

The agent representing Mitch Marner says the slick forward will negotiate a new deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs at season's end.



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