Matthew Tkachuk manages to taunt Auston Matthews following contract extension  

Matthew Tkachuk manages to taunt Auston Matthews following contract extension

The deal is creating a lot of reactions across the NHL.



It was clear that when it was confirmed that Auston Matthews signed a four-year, $53 million extension that ties him to the Toronto Maple Leafs through the 2027-28 season, a lot of people would comment.

Fans, insiders and even team reporters commented on the deal, while others quickly compared it to other star players across the league, including Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid and Florida Panthers’ Matthew Tkachuk. When it comes to the latter, David Dwork explained in The Hockey News how Matthews’ contract makes him appreciate the Panthers’ forward’s deal even more, along with Panthers teammate Aleksander Barkov.

Dwork starts off by acknowledging that Matthews is “a generational talent that is elite on both ends of the ice” and deserves the AAV of $13.25 million, which will make Matthews the league’s highest-paid player beginning in 2024-25, surpassing Colorado Avalanche top forward Nathan MacKinnon’s $12.6 AAV.

However, he strongly believes Tkachuk is a way better bargain:

Then there’s Tkachuk, a reining Hart Trophy finalist coming off back-to-back 100-point seasons who proved earlier this summer that he’s one of those ‘take it to another level’ playoff guys.
But it’s not just the high-end scoring that makes Tkachuk so valuable. It’s the intangibles. He checks all the boxes.
Great locker room guy? Check.
Physical presence? You betcha.
Impacts the game in multiple ways? Yessir.
We could keep going, but if you’re reading this story, odds are you know exactly the kind of player and person Matthew Tkachuk is and get the point we’re tying to make.”

Dwork then points to the flexibility under the cap to spend on other players the Panthers managed to acheive with Tkachuk and Barkov’ deals at a lower AAVs.

While Dwork maintains that Matthews deserves every penny he’ll get, the Panthers clearly seem to have a better understanding of how to manage the cap and to spend on the rest of the roster to make it all the way to the Stanley Cup finals.

Tkachuk could have asked for more when he was traded and then signed in Florida. However, his current deal makes the most sense, and in that regard, Tkachuk is one of the league’s best players to sign the best team-friendly contract to become a Champion…

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