The Auston Matthews contract is win-win for him and Maple Leafs; Nylander question remains unanswered
Let's talk about the Toronto Maple Leafs some more.
After another postseason failing the Toronto Maple Leafs entered the offseason with more questions on what to do with their core of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares and William Nylander.
Do they keep them all together and hope they find the right complementary cast of players around them? Do they make dramatic changes to shake things up?
Complicating the question was the fact the one big change they did make was in the front office where Bred Treliving replaced Kyle Dubas in the general manager’s seat,
There were a lot of variables at play here as a new front office came in to put their stamp on the team, while prominent players — Matthews and Nylander — became eligible for new contract extensions. Just because the previous front office wanted to build around that group and keep running it back in the face of failure after failure does not necessarily mean the new front office would.
On Wednesday the Maple Leafs addressed one of those issues by signing Matthews to a new four-year contract extension that runs through the end of the 2027-28 season and pays him what is now a league high $13.25 million salary cap hit per season.
From a Maple Leafs perspective, this was an easy decision.
Also probably the only decision.
Even if the Maple Leafs wanted to shake up their core, it was never going to involve Matthews because he is their best player and one of the best players in the league. He is also in the prime years of his career, and as long as he is healthy you know he is going to score a minimum of 40 goals over 82 games and there is no way you are going to win a trade involving him. The Maple Leafs could have handed him a blank check and whatever number he filled in up to the league minimum was going to be worth it for them to keep him on the roster.
He’s not the reason they lose in the playoffs every year.
It is also a great deal for Matthews.
So let’s dig into all of this.
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