Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Leafs announce Auston Matthews 5-year, $11.634 AAV contract extension

After a few days of speculation, we’ve finally got the deal done. Auston Matthews has committed his next five years to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

From the team’s official release:

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the club has agreed to terms with forward Auston Matthews on a five-year contract extension. The average annual value of the contract is $11.634 million.

There are a few different ways you can take this extension. While it’s not the eight-year deal any of us were hoping for, you aren’t also wanting to play cat-and-mouse with your future superstar. It takes a little bit off the length of the deal, while also pulling him in at a lesser cap hit than his only real comparable in Connor McDavid, who’s making $12.5 million per year on an eight-year deal.

Finally, a salary breakdown.

We’ll have more in-depth analysis shortly.

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  • Bob Canuck

    All things considered, I think the Matthews contract is fair to both parties.

    I think it is reasonable to assume that Matthews AAV on an eight-year contract would be $13 million. My reasoning is as follows:

    – When the contracts were signed, Eichel’s AAV was 13.3% of the next season’s cap and McDavid’s was 16.67%;

    – the average for those two players is 15%. I think Matthews is closer to McDavid than he is Eichel;

    – therefore, if you use a 15.7% AAV on next season’s projected $83 million cap, the AAV is $13 million on an eight-year contract;

    – Chris Johnson of Sportsnet has reported that Matthews camp asked for an AAV of almost $14 million on an eight-year deal;

    – if you increase the cap by 3% per season and assume Matthews compensation in Year 5 is 18% of the Year 5 cap, his compensation is $16.8 million in Year 5;

    – to make the math work, the compensation would be $36.8 million over the first 4 seasons;

    – Accordingly, using the $36.8 million and $16.8 million figures, the AAV on five-year deal is $11.7 million on a six-year deal and $10.7 million on a five-year deal.

    One could argue that an AAV of $11.634 million is a bit high but it is close to $10.7 million. I think it is fair.

    In theory, the Leafs have exchanged three seasons of having Matthews under contract on an eight-year deal for an AAV savings of almost $1.5 million ($13 million less $11.634 million) over the term of the contract. Given the future cap crunch, primarily next season, I think the AAV savings and having Matthews for five seasons is worthwhile. Not optimal, but worthwhile.

  • Matthews is awesome and he is signed to a manageable cap hit for this team’s cup window, not sure what people are upset about… everyone wants a long term deal that is “amazing” or “cheap” after a few years, but what do the players think of that? Lots of players sign so called “team friendly” deals and never win a cup so where is the incentive? In 5 years the whole NHL landscape will have changed… there will be a new team in the league, a different salary cap, and perhaps even a lockout. Let’s reassess then and in the meantime enjoy having so many amazing players on our team.

  • Rebuild30

    After paying the Leaf’s 10 best players, they have $18 Mil left to play 10 more players, Lol.
    In a few years Toronto’s gonna look like the Chicago Blackhawks now, less the Three Stanley Cups!!

    • North Van Halen

      That’s actually 13 players for $18mil. By next season, this will be the most top heavy team in the history of the NHL.
      We’re soon gonna find out if Dubas really is the Boy Genius or over his head.