McDavid raises eyebrows with comments on Auston Matthews' new contract
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McDavid raises eyebrows with comments on Auston Matthews' new contract

Whoa... how we feelin', Oilers fans?



In case you missed the news yesterday, the Toronto Maple Leafs made superstar forward Auston Matthews the highest paid player in the NHL.

Matthews signed a historic four year, $114 million contract extension worth $13.25 million per season starting in 2024-25. Again, the deal makes Matthews the NHL's highest paid player and it takes him to age 30 when he'll hit the open market as a free agent. 

According to multiple reports, Leafs general manager Brad Treliving was pushing hard for a longer term deal and a bigger commitment out of Matthews, but Matthews simply wasn't willing to go beyond four years. NHL insider Elliotte Friedman reports that Matthews was not interested in locking himself up that long and wants the flexibility to sign another 'big deal' before his NHL career is over.

More from Friedman on the latest episode of Sportsnet's 32 Thoughts podcast:

"I had heard that the Maple Leafs were trying to push for as much term as they could get. I think they were hoping to get to five (years).  

- Elliotte Friedman

Frank Seravalli also reports that Matthews wasn't willing to go long-term with the Leafs:

If you're a Leafs fan, that's got to make you nervous. 

If you're an Edmonton Oilers fan, you're understandably nervous too.

Why? Well, with Matthews now established as the league's highest paid player, you have to imagine that Oilers captain Connor McDavid will surpass him in three years when he comes up for negotiations again. In fact, Oilers insider Mark Spector asked McDavid himself earlier today what he thinks of Matthews' new contract and how it could affect McDavid himself when it comes time to negotiate his own deal.

McDavid's answerr:

"It's three years down the road. We've got to kind of see where our lives are at and kind of go from there. I don't say that to raise eyebrows or cause panic, it's just the way that it is.

- Connor McDavid

Well... consider my eyebrows raised, Connor.

To be frank though, we all kind of knew this, right? If the Oilers can't put things together over the next three years I don't think anyone expects McDavid to stick around long-term. The situation isn't really all that different from Matthews' situation in Toronto. In both cases the onus is on the team to improve around the player and for the player to help elevate the team to the next level. Put up or shut up time in Toronto and Edmonton.

Source: Mark Spector