The distraction of the works of a contract extension in the background does not seem to be disturbing Toronto Maple Leafs star forward Auston Matthews, who has started the 2018-19 season on a roll. With 10 goals in just seven games, the kid is proving to be a crucial part of the Maple Leafs' future, however, new information revealed by NHL insider Elliotte Friedman on Wednesday night makes us doubt that general manager Kyle Dubas also sees it that way...
Friedman provided his latest intel on the contract talks during a Wednesday evening NHL Network appearance, and some details are expected to shock fans across the league. According to the Sportsnet's insider, the Leafs are offering a five-year contract extension.
“I think they’re trying to keep them quiet, but I do think they’re really trying,” noted Friedman. “I think there have been some - I don’t know if I would say serious, or - I think there are some legitimate attempts on both sides to try to get something done.
“I do think Toronto is considering something in the five-year range for Matthews - that would buy one year of unrestricted free agency. I have to tell you guys, if I was in charge I’d be trying to get eight; but that number might be over 12 and I’m not sure Toronto thinks it wants to do all of that yet, so five would probably be a little bit less, which gives them some more cap room. Whatever the case, I do think both sides are seriously talking.
“I know there’s been a lot of talk about offer sheets - it’s my personal opinion it’s never going to get there, that they’re going to find a way to get this done - both sides - before that."
Friedman kept pointing out that the extension should be an eight-year one and not the five-year one that keeps being mentioned...
“I just think the bigger question is going to be term - is it going to be five years or eight years.”
Matthews is in the final year of his entry-level contract and has been eligible to sign an extension since July. The young forward did mention before the start of the season that he did not mind talking about an extension during the year, however, he might mind, like many fans, the term on the first one being offered by the Leafs...
Source: NHL Network
Photo Credit: Zuma Press