Back in February, all eyes were turned on Auston Matthews as the star player and the Toronto Maple Leafs agreed to a five-year contract extension Tuesday. The deal is worth $58.17 million, meaning Matthews will have an annual salary cap hit of $11.634 million beginning in 2019-20 and running through the 2023-24 campaign.
As soon as the announcement was made, pundits didn’t waste time turning their attention to teammate Mitch Marner, who is set to become a restricted free agent in July. While Marner’s agent, Darren Ferris, said the Matthews signing will not alter his stance of waiting to negotiate until the end of the season, it does not stop insiders from speculating about the deal’s length or value.
We wouldn’t be surprised if Marner asks for the same amount of money as Matthews. Actually, Sportsnet analyst and former Leafs GM Brian Burke commented on the situation this morning on PrimeTime Sports with Gord Stellick hosting and had some harsh words for Matthews in order to make a strong point about Marner’s expected contract.
“Hard to refute that, isn’t? I love Auston Matthews, but he ain’t selling tickets , he ain’t exciting, Mitch Marner is exciting.”
Marner is leading the Maple Leafs with 84 points, which is 21 more than Matthews. However, he has managed to play 14 more games than Matthews, who was injured for part of the season. Matthews has scored 32 goals, while Marner has tallied 24.
It does not seem fair to say that Marner is more exciting than Matthews on the ice. Sure, the two kids have very different personalities, however, their talent on the ice and the excitement they bring fans in Toronto is quite similar…
Do you agree with what Burke had to say? Or do you believe this is more nonsense from the controversial analyst?