Insider Sheds Light on Terms of Auston Matthews' Upcoming Contract

Elliot Ben Jacob
June 9, 2023  (11:58)

Anticipated Contract Deal for Auston Matthews Sparks Controversy Among Fans

News about Auston Matthews' upcoming contract renewal is stirring emotions among fans due to insiders' projections.

What to Expect From Matthews' New Contract

In no uncertain terms, Auston Matthews is on track to become the highest-paid player in NHL history. At present, Nathan MacKinnon holds that position, with an Average Annual Value of $12.6m. However, sources indicate that Matthews won't settle for less than $13m.
Insider Mike Johnson gave a glimpse of what Matthews' forthcoming contract might entail.

The Issue With Matthews' Contract Length

Matthews' reluctance to consider a max-length contract deal is a cause for concern for many. Given his significant skills, he undoubtedly merits a substantial paycheck. However, his apparent reluctance to commit long-term could prove problematic.
This challenge seems to be a Matthews-specific issue. Many other prominent league superstars, such as Ovechkin, Crosby, McDavid, MacKinnon, Kucherov, and many others, have all signed long-term contracts with their respective teams.

The Implications and Possible Actions

The future of Brad Treliving's position rests on the success of the Leafs in the playoffs and the decision regarding Matthews – whether he gets re-signed or traded. If Matthews decides to become a free agent, it could throw the Leafs organization into shambles.
If Matthews isn't willing to commit long-term or take a less lucrative deal to contribute to the team's success, it might suggest that his driving factor is money rather than winning. Despite his outstanding skills, he may find it challenging to match up against the best in the playoffs, as they are driven by victory, not remuneration.
If Matthews doesn't show interest in an 8-year deal, I would advocate for his trade. Re-signing him at a record price for a shorter term seems ludicrous. It would be better to initiate a retooling process that might take a maximum of two years, and the Leafs need all they can get their hands on to do that.