Leafs fans need to chill with all the negative talk surrounding Auston Matthews
Photo credit:Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
By Shane Seney3 months ago
It really seems like fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs don’t like having nice things.
Times have changed in Toronto and frankly, the team is closer to winning the Stanley Cup than they have been in the past two decades. One of the biggest reasons for this? Auston Matthews is leading the charge and will be for the foreseeable future. Get used to it.
Does Leafs Nation forget not that long ago, we were cheering on a team led by P.A Parenteau and Michael Grabner? What about when Shawn Matthias and Daniel Winnik were the power forwards leading the charge? Or, when Tyler Bozak was the number-one playmaking center the team desperately needed. From bad to…much better for the Maple Leafs and it’s time to appreciate it.
Earlier this week, Frank Seravalli joined Nick Alberga on Leafs Morning Take and mentioned Leafs general manager (GM) Brad Treliving wants to put this Matthews’ contract extension to bed as soon as possible. Once the extension is complete, the Leafs GM can turn his attention to what William Nylander is looking for on his next deal, and then the focus will shift to making trades and free agency.
The Leafs will be one of the busiest teams when it comes to transactions this offseason and Treliving has a golden chance to kick off the party by securing the services of the team’s best player for years to come.
There’s no doubt the Leafs GM wants to make the team tougher to play against and add team speed and there’s going to be several changes needed to do so. Matthews is the priority though and he absolutely should be.
Treliving has a history of getting deals done at the dinner table, just ask Jonathan Huberdeau. The two met last summer in Montreal for dinner and three days later a new contract was announced. So the sense is, a contract extension is coming on July 1 or shortly after, and while the Maple Leafs are pushing for the maximum eight-year term, Matthews may end up signing a five-year contract instead. Leafs Nation, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this. He’s still as committed as ever to winning in Toronto and with the salary cap expected to jump close to $100 million in four years, Matthews wants to ensure he’s being compensated appropriately throughout. It’s not all about the money, it’s about feeling valued and appreciated and right now, Leafs Nation isn’t appreciating what they have.
It could be much worse. Matthew Tkachuk didn’t want to stick around Calgary and forced a trade, and now Noah Hanifin is doing the same. There’s two Winnipeg Jets in Pierre-Luc Dubois and Connor Hellebuyck who want out this summer. Matthews wants to be here, he cares about being a Maple Leaf, and for some reason, the fan base doesn’t seem to fully understand this.
If you scroll the comments section on any social media platform, you’ll find Leafs Nation is starting to turn their back on Matthews. It’s either ‘why doesn’t he want to stay longer?’, or, ‘we should trade him before July 1’. It makes absolutely no sense. You don’t trade away a franchise player in the middle of his prime.
Matthews is a world class talent, who the Maple Leafs are very lucky to have. After suffering for so many years, Leafs Nation can breath easy and it’s like nobody understands this or realize this to be the case. With Matthews in the fold, the team has a chance to win the Stanley Cup every single year he wears the uniform.
Of course, it’s not a one-man show or a one-man band per se, there’s other instruments that need to be played so the orchestra sounds majestic. But with Matthews playing the lead and committed to winning in Toronto, the sweet sounds of celebration and parade anthems are a lot closer than many people realize. Leafs Nation, ease up on the Matthews chirps, it’s wasted energy.
Recent articles from Shane Seney