Insider reports Matthews could be eyeing a very short extension in Toronto

Ryan Smitheram
June 6, 2023  (2:30 PM)

In the same morning of the shocking merger between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour, Chris Johnston was on TSN's First Up this morning with Carlo Colaiacovo and Aaron Korolnek to discuss the Golden Knights' dominant performance in Game 2, Cole Caufield's extension and, of course, the Leafs. In discussing Caufield's extension, the guys segued perfectly into what Auston Matthews could be looking at for his next extension and according to CJ, it might be a shorter deal than many Leaf fans want to allow themselves to believe.

"He's put the money in the bank to set his family up for a long long time. For him he can look at shorter deals. It leaves flexibility for him to not get locked into a bad situation. If the cap keeps going up and up and he remains a top player in the game that'll be beneficial for him financially. I'm not gunna say an 8 year deal can't happen but it doesn't seem likely. He's more inclined to take something in the midrange whether that's 3,4,5 years. It's in the Leafs' best interest to get him signed as long as they can because of what he means to the Leafs and Shanahan has said in the past he would like some of these guys to be life long Leafs so the Leafs will pitch him on an 8 year deal but I think it'll be a tough ask at this stage because he's already made that money and no one knows how much the cap is going up."

A three or four year deal for Matthews would certainly set the precedent for a Nylander and/or Marner extension in that they would likely take the same length of deal so that they can all sign a massive 8-year extension at the end of their 20's or in Nylander's case, his early 30's. Of course, Colaiacovo and Korolnek touched on the Leafs being the only team not able to sign players to 8-year deals with Colaiacovo saying, "Leaf fans are going 'only in Toronto can they not sign a guy to an 8 year deal,'" while Korolnek verified his point saying, "It's true. Pastrnak got 8 years. Mackinnon took 8 years. It doesn't seem like anywhere but Toronto this is a real thing."
CJ also touched on Matthews' current contract saying, "Hindsight's 20/20 but the Leafs should've pushed for 8 years on the last deal cause I think at that time he would've done it. It might've set the table for Marner to do 8 years."
Given that official negotiations are not believed to have begun with Matthews or his agent yet (those should be starting in the coming days and weeks), it is unlikely the Leafs will be able to sign him for more than 5 years, as CJ said. If that's the case, the Leafs have to hope that once he's signed, they are able to have some success in the playoffs if they want to have any hope of signing him to a long-term deal at the end of his next extension. They also may want to refrain from offering a full NMC for the full term of the deal to allow themselves some flexibility to be able to move him if it comes to that.
6 JUIN   |   689 ANSWERS
Insider reports Matthews could be eyeing a very short extension in Toronto

Would you be ok with Matthews signing a 3 or 4 year extension with the Leafs?

No, he needs to sign for 8!8412.2 %
Nothing below 6 years this time!19227.9 %
Honestly, I'm cool with it!28541.4 %
He's not re-signing in Toronto. He's gone.12818.6 %
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