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Leafs GM comments on new Matthews contract, reveals that the Leafs feel like they got a bargain


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Mike Armenti
August 26, 2023  (10:35)
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When the 2022-23 season ended for the Maple Leafs, there were a lot of questions about who would stay and who would go. There were also questions about what new contracts for Auston Matthews and William Nylander might look like.

Matthews, being priority number one, was always going to become the highest paid player in the NHL. This was known to Brad Treliving before coming in and this was known to fans all around the hockey sphere. However, what we didn't know was just how much over Nathan MacKinnon's $12.6M that Matthews would go. There were reports throughout last season that Matthews could be the league's first $15M player. More recently, reports suggested that Matthews could command as much as $14M per season on a 3-5 year deal.
In the end, Matthews and the Leafs settled on a 4-year deal worth $13.25M per season. Both the term and the AAV were lower than most had expected and even Treliving himself acknowledged that Auston had left some money on the table yesterday when speaking with reporters on a Zoom call.
"You're talking about one of the world's best talents. And in the situation he was in, he could come in and demand a whole lot more than what he got. And that's just the reality.... To me, it was a partnership more than it was a negotiation." - Treliving on Matthews taking less than he could have

Now, it will be up to Matthews to continue to outperform the AAV on his new deal. He has done a pretty good job of outperforming his $11.6M AAV, so as long as he continues to play a strong two-way game and fire pucks across the goal line, this should be a very good situation for the Leafs - especially with the salary cap increasing over the next few seasons.
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26 AOUT   |   78 ANSWERS
Leafs GM comments on new Matthews contract, reveals that the Leafs feel like they got a bargain

Could Auston have made more elsewhere?

No, definitely not1924.4 %
Maybe if he signed for more years2633.3 %
Yes, he'd have received more regardless3342.3 %
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