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Insider reveals the AAV of Auston Matthews' next contract, says term is the cause for delay

Published July 19, 2023 at 2:34 PM
BY MIKE ARMENTI

For months now, we've been stuck in a web of speculation over what Matthews will earn on his next deal. Some are speculating that Matthews suggesting that he's fine with taking a discount might mean a $12.7M AAV and others believe he'll hold out for as much as $15M per season. The fact of the matter is that nobody knows for sure what Matthews' rock bottom is except for Matthews and his agent, Judd Moldaver.

While we continue to wonder and speculate, one NHL Insider seems to think he knows exactly what Matthews' cap hit on his next deal will be, and according to Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos, that cap hit will be $13.5M per season.

"I don't know whether we're in a blinking contest or not between Nylander and Matthews or who needs to go first, but if I'm Auston Matthews, I'm not holding my breath on Nylander's contract getting done at all at any point this summer. So, how far does Matthews want to go into the season, now, without a contract? If it is as close as everyone is reporting - and everyone that I've talked to says it's a $13.5M AAV - then what is the term? I think for me, the biggest decision right now, which I think Auston can't decide on or they haven't made a final decision is, is how many years will what we believe is a $13.5M AAV last?"

If Kypreos is correct here, and I'm not saying that he is, Matthews making $13.5M will put him $1M above Connor McDavid and $900K ahead of Nathan MacKinnon and making him the highest paid player in NHL history. We also know from previous reports from the likes of Elliotte Friedman and others that the Matthews AAV is expected to land in that $13M-$14M range, so a $13.5M AAV would certainly fall into that range.


In all honesty, if $13.5M is what Matthews ends up getting on a 3-5 year deal, that's a contract that I think most can live with, at least from a cap perspective. It would also mean that Matthews was genuine in his willingness to take less to try to win in Toronto, since he would almost certainly command at least $14M-$15M on the open market next summer.

POLL
July 19   |   232 answers
Insider reveals the AAV of Auston Matthews' next contract, says term is the cause for delay

Do you believe Kypreos' report of a $13.5M AAV on Auston Matthews' next contract?

Yes14964.2 %
No8335.8 %
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