Hockey fan lists a combination of players close to Matthews' new cap hit; these unfair comparisons need to stop

Published August 26, 2023 at 9:43

With Auston Matthews now being the highest paid player in the NHL, he will be the subject of a lot of criticism, comparisons, and scrutiny and it has already begun. Matthews' $13.25M AAV is only $1.6 million more than his current contract but the only issue in people's minds is that it's a 4-year term and not longer.

Matthews has shown his willingness to want to stick around in Toronto through thick and thin and while he has surpassed Nathan MacKinnon as being the highest paid athlete in the sport, it won't be long until he himself is dethroned with Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid's extensions coming up.

Big Head Hockey recently posted a list of duos that currently make less, the same, or slightly more than Auston Matthews but did make sure to add in the caveat that some of them are very close to signing extensions of their very own with a rising cap upon us.

Tage Thompson and Rasmus Dahlin combine for $13.21 million, Matthew Tkachuk and Carter Verhaeghe combine for $13.61 million, Jack Hughes and Tyler Toffoli combine for $12.25 million, Tim Stutzle and Jakob Chychrun combine for $12.95 million, and Jason Robertson and Jake Oettinger combine for $11.75 million.

Rasmus Dahlin only has one year left until restricted free agency, Carter Verhaeghe only has 2 years remaining until unrestricted free agency, Jakob Chychrun has 2 years remaining until unrestricted free agency, and Jason Robertson and Jake Oettinger have 3 and 2 years remaining until restricted free agency, respectively. Meaning that they will all get massive increases if they continue on their upward trajectory and with the spike in the cap coming up.

The price of a top-4 talent in the NHL is steep with McDavid being 5 years into his $12.5 million AAV, MacKinnon starting his $12.6 million AAV, and Matthews now entering the conversation with his $13.25 million AAV beginning in 2024-25. Draisaitl should join them shortly,but comparing duos and contracts that have been signed years prior - and for some that aren't in the same tier as Matthews - is unfair and a little baffling.

Although it is known worldwide that McDavid is the greatest player on the planet, he has rarely been subjected to contractual comparisons, if at all, the way that Matthews has. Let's not forget that Matthews is still a top-4 talent in the NHL, beat out McDavid for a Hart Trophy, has scored 60 goals in a season, and averages 0.7 goals per game in his career to date.

However, Big Head Hockey did make mention that a lot of these contracts are good value deals coming out of their ELCs and some will expire well before Matthews' new contract. At any rate, it's unfair to Matthews to cherry-pick value deals, comparing 2 players to 1 when that 1 player is worlds ahead of any name on that list. I guess it's the price you pay for being a Leaf. Everything has to be about the Leafs.
August 26   |   224 answers
Hockey fan lists a combination of players close to Matthews' new cap hit; these unfair comparisons need to stop

Is it fair to Matthews to be measured up against two players who combine to land in his new cap hit range?

No, it's unfair and stupid7332.6 %
Yes - the price you pay for signing a big contract9040.2 %
Honestly, I don't care4419.6 %
See results177.6 %
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