Former Leafs Player has Doubts Regarding Matthews Future in Toronto

Published August 17, 2023 at 4:58 PM

It's no question that the Leafs are in deep cap trouble, not from their inability to be compliant, but their inability to re-sign their stars. Since Brad Treliving joined the Leafs, his priority has been to re-sign Auston Matthews, however, he has yet to get Matthew's pen to paper.

Time is of the Essence

Matthews has previously indicated that he wanted to have the contract situation sorted out prior to starting training camp this season. With the clock ticking, it seems that this might not be the case. Today, former Leafs player and NHL insider Jeff O'Neil shared his thoughts on his radio show.

He's showing good faith by saying 'this is where I wanna be, I wanna stay here, I wanna sign here,' and now he can just say the contract never worked out and do the ole John Tavares. If you start training camp with no contract, that basically means you're leaving. I think just like Tavares when he didn't sign at the beginning of the season and he kept saying 'this is business' and 'it's for my agent to work out,' that's code for saying I'm not coming back. That's what I took from the Tavares situation. All these other guys (Sebastian) Aho, 8-years, 8-years, 'I'm happy to be here' and then all of a sudden from the Matthews camp, gotta get creative cause there's another deal... I would find it frustrating how everyone is signing 8-years. 'I like it here', but if you like it, how come you wont do it (sign for 8 years)?

Who's Telling it Straight?

As time passes, it looks worse and worse for Leaf fans. As O'Neil mentions, the players who truly love their organization have been able to make an 8-year deal work prior to camp. It certainly raises questions as to Matthews' desire to be a Leaf, and is a distraction for the start of the season.


The worst-case scenario? The Leafs continue their lacklustre post-season performance this year, and Matthews walks for free. Treliving certainly has his work cut out for him still to prevent this future from happening.

As read on Blade of Steel - "Former Toronto Maple Leafs player thinks Auston Matthews is playing the Leafs perfectly"
August 17   |   468 answers
Former Leafs Player has Doubts Regarding Matthews Future in Toronto

Will Matthews sign before training camp?

Yes19541.7 %
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