It is believed that Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews and his camp are looking for a long-term contract extension worth around 8 years/$120 million ($15M AAV). However, the Maple Leafs are reportedly not willing to give that kind of a contract easily negotiations could potentially bleed into training camp. This is due to the tight cap situation the Leafs are currently in, with other important players also on soon to expire deals.
Matthews has had a strong start to the season, recording 42 points in 37 games. Last season was his best career year, with 106 points and 60 goals. He is a key piece of the Maple Leafs’ and it is no surprise that he and his camp are seeking a lucrative contract after his 60 goal season.
The Maple Leafs also have to consider the future of forward William Nylander, who is nearing the end of his contract. The team will need to decide whether to re-sign Nylander or let him walk, all while trying to figure out the Matthews situation as well. Nylander also has 42 points in 37 games this season, but would be a cheaper deal than what Matthews is asking for.
It will be interesting to see how these negotiations play out and how it will impact the Maple Leafs’ salary cap. While the team surely wants to keep Matthews and his offensive production, they also have to consider the long-term financial implications of such a large contract. It remains to be seen if the two sides will be able to come to an agreement, but many teams will be keeping a close eye on the situation.
The Leafs have not been able to get it done in playoffs, and if they fail again this season, there will be questions that need to be asked about the entire team.