Insider: Leafs screwed up Auston Matthews negotiations

This may not bode very well.



What exactly does the future hold for Toronto Maple Leafs superstar forward Auston Matthews in the only NHL city that he's called home so far in his career? 

WIth the departure of now-former general manager Kyle Dubas, there has been plenty of speculation that Matthews could soon be on his way out the door due to how close he was with the young executive. Or could he elect to re-sign with the Leafs, but for shorter term than what the fans would like to see? 

Chris Johnston was on TSN's First Up earlier this morning, and he floated the latter possibility while also referencing the new contract signed by Montreal Canadiens forward Cole Caulfield. 

"He's put the money in the bank to set his family up for a long long time," Johnston said. "For him he can look at shorter deals. It leaves flexibility for him to not get locked into a bad situation. If the cap keeps going up and up and he remains a top player in the game that'll be beneficial for him financially. I'm not gunna say an 8 year deal can't happen but it doesn't seem likely. He's more inclined to take something in the midrange whether that's 3, 4, 5 years."

"It's in the Leafs' best interest to get him signed as long as they can because of what he means to the Leafs and Shanahan has said in the past he would like some of these guys to be life long Leafs so the Leafs will pitch him on an 8 year deal but I think it'll be a tough ask at this stage because he's already made that money and no one knows how much the cap is going up."

What are the odds that new Leafs GM Brad Treliving may play a little hardball with Matthews in terms of the length of the next deal? He's already indicated that re-signing Matthews is a top priority.