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Auston Matthews got PAID, now it’s time to deliver when it matters most: Leafs Morning Take

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Nick Alberga
8 months ago
August 23rd, 2023. will be a day Leafs fans will remember for the foreseeable future.
Auston Matthews isn’t going anywhere, baby.
Following months of speculation, the Leafs and their superstar centre put pen to paper on a four-year contract extension worth $53 million. The deal, which will kick in next season, will make the 25-year-old the highest paid player per year in the NHL. All in all, I call it in a win all-around. Matthews got paid and the Leafs have him through his core 25-30 years. Can’t go wrong with that.
With all that in mind, Jay Rosehill and I got together to discuss the fallout from the monumental day. At first, I honestly thought Matthews’ social media accounts had been hacked. Of course, it was his Tweet that ignited the blaze. Let’s go!

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Ultimately, the focus now shifts to William Nylander. Without question, I think that negotiation will be way tougher than the Matthews one. Let’s call a spade a spade: Matthews called his own shot. And rightfully so. His track record and resume speak for themselves. There’s a reason why he’s widely regarded as a top-5 player in the league right now. He’s a bar setter —that’s no doubt about that.

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Furthermore, I’m curious to see a year from now what all this means for Mitch Marner, who will be eligible for an extension next summer. If I’m Brad Treliving, I make it clear that the AAV for Auston Matthews is the benchmark and that he’ll be the highest paid player on the team. It’s imperative that Treliving find a way to set a tone with respect to negotiations. Bottom line: There has to be a pecking order established. I mean, every team seems to have one but the Leafs.
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