Report: Auston Matthews could make NHL history

The Leafs are going to have to pay up big time.



Fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs are waiting with baited breath on what kinds of changes that new general manager Brad Treliving will be instituting for the team that he took over from the recently terminated Kyle Dubas. 

Based on comments that he made, it sounds as though the “Core 4” of John Tavares, William  Nylander, Auston Matthews, and Mitch Marner are all going to be staying put, at least for now. Treliving reiterated his desire during his introductory presser to sign Matthews as soon as possible, while not much has been said with regards to Nylander's specific future with the team.

In fact, the only update was earlier this week in which NHL analyst Pierre LeBrun indicated that there's been no real progress between the Leafs and Nylander's agent on a new deal. 

But based on this latest report from The Athletic, it sounds as though the next deal for Matthews would make him the highest paid player in the history of the National Hockey League. According to author Jonas Siegal, Matthews could be looking for a deal that would be worth over $14 million a season.

Take a look at an excerpt from the piece: 

"The salary cap might be the most important thing to remember about where this is going. The belief is that Matthews and his agent, Judd Moldaver, want his third NHL contract to account for a cap that should hit $87.5 million in the fall of 2024, when the new deal kicks in, and is expected to only go up from there, as much as five percent annually.

Which means a cap hit figure that will shrink over the life of the contract. 

That is why it’s likely they will be looking at a contract ranging between two and five years long. The sweet spot, for both Matthews and the Leafs, may be a five-year deal with a record-setting cap hit, higher than MacKinnon’s $12.6 million annual average value.

A five-year deal would buy up the entirety of Matthews’ prime, his age-27, 28, 29, 30, and 31 seasons. It could also shatter the previous precedent for these types of contracts. The Leafs could be looking at a number as high as $14.5 million on the cap on a five-year deal." 

Wowzers, that would be a massive extension. Additionally, the appropriate question would be what exactly does that mean for the futures of Tavares, Marner and Nylander with the team if Matthews' next contract is that hefty? 

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Source: The Athletic