Auston Matthews has signed a four year extension with the Leafs
Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
28 days ago
The most significant question mark of the Leafs’ 2023 offseason has finally been answered: Auston Matthews will remain a Leaf for another four years.
Matthews initially caused a sensation by sharing this post on X and Instagram that heavily implied he would be staying in Toronto. After a few minutes of anticipation of what it could mean, it was reported by Frank Seravalli that the 2016 first-overall pick agreed to a four-year extension with an AAV of $13.25 million a season.
When the deal kicks in, he will have the highest annual salary among all active players, comfortably beating out the current title holder Nathan MacKinnon.
It goes without saying just how critical this was for Brad Treliving to get done, especially after seeing Johnny Gaudreau walk for nothing and being forced to trade Matthew Tkachuk to the Panthers last summer. The fact two were able to come to a fairly reasonable agreement given the calibre of player Matthews currently is has to be considered tidy work by the new Leafs GM.
The only other key member of the team who will need an extension is William Nylander, who made an appearance on 32 Thoughts The Podcast today to say that he is committed to staying with the Leafs and is in no rush to get an extension done.
Matthews is coming off another productive season despite missing time due to an injury that made it harder for him to match his 60-goal output from the prior campaign. He recorded 85 points (40 goals and 45 assists) in 74 games played registering 11 points (five goals and six assists) in 11 playoff games.
With the Leafs’ most integral piece now locked up, there are now 12 players on the active roster who are signed beyond this year. Without taking into account the projected cap raise that is finally coming next summer, that means they will have roughly $30 million to work with to get Nylander’s deal done along with some other pending UFAs such as Ilya Samsonov, Tyler Bertuzzi, and Max Domi.
It was expected for quite some time that Matthews was going to remain in Toronto barring some catastrophic circumstances. The only question was for how long and how much he would be, which we now have the answer to.
The focus now shifts to Nylander as the start of training camp quickly approaches.
Stats from Hockey-Reference.com.
Salary information from CapFriendly.
Recent articles from Michael Mazzei