New Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brad Treliving says signing Auston Matthews ‘is a priority’
By Steven Ellis3 months ago
In his introductory press conference with the media, new Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving said discussions with Auston Matthews is a priority for him this summer.
Matthews has one more year left on a five-year deal with a cap hit of $11.634 million. He’s set to become a UFA this summer, but Treliving hopes it won’t get that far.
Matthews can sign a new contract with the Leafs as of July 1, 2023.
“I’ve communicated with Auston,” Treliving said. “I know Judd (Moldaver, Matthews’ GM), I have a close relationship with Judd… You’ll find that I won’t get into any public discourse about contracts.
“Obviously, we know when these contracts are up. Auston is one of the most elite players. We’re not talking about a good player. We’re talking about an elite player. Getting to Auston is a priority.”
Treliving was officially hired by the Leafs on Wednesday, replacing outgoing GM Kyle Dubas. Dubas has since been announced as the Pittsburgh Penguins president of hockey operations, with the team still looking for a new general manager.
For Treliving, it’s time to get to work. And that means signing Matthews to a deal sooner rather than later.
“Outside of the contract stuff… No. 1, it’s about getting to build that relationship. It’s not walking down and trying to arm wrestle about contracts. It’s about getting down, and me getting a chance to meet him. And more importantly, giving Auston the chance to meet me, know what we’re about, and just talk a little bit.
“That’s priority No. 1. We all know all the things that relate to players and their contract situations and the timing and all the challenges ahead of us. But we’re prepared to get after it. So I’m excited to not only get a chance to meet him, but thrilled to be able to work with him.”
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