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A National Hockey League insider has just dropped a bombshell report on the Toronto Maple Leafs fan base.
During the 2nd intermission of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final between the Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers on Saturday night, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman casually dropped a major nugget of information regarding Maple Leafs star forward Auston Matthews and his ongoing contract negotiations.
As many of our readers will already know, it is imperative for the Maple Leafs to sign Auston Matthews by July 1st when his full no-movement clause kicks in. Failing to do so would give Matthews full control over any moves that would involve him in the final year of his contract, a contract year that ends with Matthews as an unrestricted free agent.
On Saturday night, Friedman indicated that it no longer appears that this is a possibility for the Maple Leafs.
"It doesn't appear likely that Auston Matthews will sign by July 1st," revealed Friedman on Hockey Night in Canada.
You can't help but wonder if the decision to fire now former Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas has played any role in Matthews and his camp taking this stance, but either way it has put the Maple Leafs in an incredibly uncomfortable position with very little time between now and July 1st when Matthews' full no-move will kick in.