Insider rips into Auston Matthews for not signing longer-term

Published August 28, 2023 at 10:58

Last week, Auston Matthews surprised the hockey world by announcing himself, before anyone could leak it, that he had signed an extension with the Leafs. The extension will see him earn $13.25M per season beginning in the 2024-25 season. The deal instantly made him the NHL's highest paid player and sent the media into a frenzy about whether he was worth it or not. On Sportsnet's "The Real Kyper and Bourne Show", Nick Kypreos voiced that he was not thrilled about Matthews signing for only four years and claims the Leafs let him off the hook by giving him what he asked for.

"There's people out there that say why is he $600K more than the highest paid in the league that won a Stanley Cup in Nathan MacKinnon? Not as many as there would be at $14M, but there's still gonna be people out there questioning why he jumped significantly to become the highest paid player in the league when he was, last year, no where near the best player," Kypreos commented.

Kypreos continued by calling out the fact that Matthews, once again, did not sign a max-term deal like other stars saying, "Why not seven or eight years at $13.25M? Why only four? Connor McDavid signed max, Nathan MacKinnon signed max, Leon Drasaitl signed max. Why does this guy become the highest paid guy in the league if he's only doing it for 4 years?... The AAV may be irrelevant (McDavid), but the term is not. MacKinnon signed for 8 last year after winning the Stanley Cup. They (Avalanche) didn't let him on the hook with four."

Many people wish that Matthews did sign for longer, but at the same time, having him only locked in for another five years gives the Leafs more options in terms of building the team around him and without him should he leave at the end of his extension. The Leafs could also decide that after a few more seasons, if things are not working out, to approach him with a trade offer and begin a rebuild. Having an 8-year deal, in that sense, would be much harder to move with three or four years remaining than having one or two years left on his contract.

August 28   |   275 answers
Insider rips into Auston Matthews for not signing longer-term

Is 4 years enough term for a guy who just became the highest paid player in the NHL?

Yes, I don't mind the deal15857.5 %
No, it needed to be 8 years4215.3 %
5-6 years would have been acceptable7527.3 %
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