The Real Reason Unveiled For Matthews' Short-Term Deal

Published August 25, 2023 at 2:17 PM

Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs agreed to a four year deal worth 13.5M AAV on Wednesday. Now an NHL insider is giving insight as to why Matthews took a shorter deal.

Dreger Speaks About Matthews Extension

On Friday Darren Dreger joined Aaron Korolnek to discuss the Auston Matthews extension. Korolnek asked Dreger why the Leafs seem to sign more short-term deals with their stars than other teams do. While Dreger acknowledges this is the case he says this was more about Auston Matthews not giving up what he wanted

Matthews has committed to five seasons with the Leafs after agreeing to a four-year extension. Why does Toronto have unique circumstances regarding contracts, contrasting with other NHL teams?

A lot of this is rooted in Matthews. Stars like McDavid and Draisaitl must have questioned their own deals after Matthews signed his groundbreaking five-year extension. Normally, teams aim to secure young superstars for the long term. Matthews defied this norm, showing he wasn't keen on a lengthier commitment. Now, he's solidified his position with the Leafs for five years, which is ample time to evaluate the team's potential on and off the ice, especially with new management like Brad Treliving. Treliving would've ideally wanted a longer deal, but this current agreement suits both parties.

The quote confirms what was already believed by most. The Leafs were hoping for a longer-term deal while Matthews wanted to keep a shorter commitment. Dreger does confirm that both parties are feeling good about the agreement though.

Will Short-Term Deals Become More Common?

As a follow-up to the talk about Matthews and the Leafs signing a short-term extension, Korolnek asked if this will become more common for NHL stars. Dreger's answer may come as a surprise to some.

While players like Pastrnak, Barkov, and Tkachuk have inked seven or eight-year contracts, why hasn't Matthews' deal set a new standard across the NHL?

Every player's situation is unique. Opting for shorter terms requires confidence and faith in one's abilities. Matthews, while a proven NHL star, demonstrated courage in not settling for a max-term deal. Instead, he's wagering on himself and the Leafs' potential over the next five years.

Dreger essentially confirms that this is an Auston Matthews specific thing and probably will not be replicated by many players. He mentions that it takes a certain level of confidence that many other players might not have. It is incredibly difficult to see a guaranteed contract and walk away from it.

Focus Shifts To Nylander

Finally, Korolnek asked where things are heading with William Nylander now that the Auston Matthews extension is done. Dreger mentions that the two sides are farther apart and it's limiting what other moves the team can make.

He also mentions that Nylander may want to follow Matthews in taking a short-term deal if his ultimate goal is to win a Stanley Cup in Toronto. As the Nylander negotiations continue it will be intriguing to see how it impacts the Leafs' moves to contend immediately.

As Read On - Hockey Patrol - We Finally Know Why Auston Matthews Signed A Short Term Deal
August 25   |   80 answers
The Real Reason Unveiled For Matthews' Short-Term Deal

Will William Nylander take a short-term deal similar to Auston Matthews?

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