At around 1:30 PM EST, multiple sport networks and Leafs PR announced the long anticipated extension of franchise centre Auston Matthews.
This contract extension has been in the works since reportedly the start of the season. Leafs brass and Matthews both made it clear that they want him to stick around for the long term. This contract comes at a hefty price but worth it for obvious reasons.
Per CapFriendly.com, TSN’s Bob McKenzie
Worth: $58,150, 000 USD
Term: 5 years.
AAV/Cap-Hit: $11, 634, 000 USD
Clauses: No Movement Clause in 2023-24.
Status: UFA in 2024.
Start: 2019-20 NHL Regular Season
Matthews signed a 5 year, standard contract extension. The official cap hit came at 11.634M per season. Similar to Tavares’ contract, 93% of Matthews’ pay is in total signing bonuses at 54.5M, and total base salary at 3.65M. Matthews will be 26 at the end of his contract and will be up for free agency. I think the NMC in his last year hurts the team in the way it hurt the Islanders in Tavares’ situation. The NMC won’t allow the Leafs to easily trade him to another team if he decides he wants to leave via free agency. He’d have to waive his NMC to be traded, and if he doesn’t, then we would lose him for free like the Islanders did in Tavares. Difference is that if he had a NTC instead of a NMC, the Leafs would be able to trade him to any team on Matthews’ trade list. It’ll really by interesting to see what plays out in the coming years.
Now comes the final main piece of the puzzle to be solved in Mitch Marner. He won’t sign an extension mid-season as reported. He’s expected to make double digits, most likely around 10M. The Leafs also have pending RFAs Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson to figure out.
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