Jeff O'Neill appears to directly challenge Auston Matthews

O'Neill is wondering what several Leafs fans are wondering.



There are few bigger known fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs in hockey media than former NHL forward Jeff O'Neill, who once played for the team for a brief period before calling it a career. 

He's now an analyst for TSN, a role that he's held since 2013. And he's become well known for his takes involving the Leafs - and he's at it again with what appears to be a direct challenge to Auston Matthews. 

Matthews, who is entering the final year of his current contract, appears to be on the verge of re-signing with the Leafs but all indications are that it won't be a long term deal. And it sounds like that's rubbing O'Neill the wrong way.

"He's showing good faith by saying 'this is where I wanna be, I wanna stay here, I wanna sign here,' and now he can just say the contract never worked out and do the ole John Tavares. If you start training camp with no contract, that basically means you're leaving. I think just like Tavares when he didn't sign at the beginning of the season and he kept saying 'this is business' and 'it's for my agent to work out,' that's code for saying I'm not coming back." 

"That's what I took from the Tavares situation. All these other guys (Sebastian) Aho, 8-years, 8-years, 'I'm happy to be here' and then all of a sudden from the Matthews camp, gotta get creative cause there's another deal... I would find it frustrating how everyone is signing 8-years. 'I like it here', but if you like it, how come you wont do it (sign for 8 years)?" 

A veteran of 821 career National Hockey League games with the Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs, O'Neill scored 237 goals with 259 assists for a career total of 496 points. 

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