Radio hosts not impressed with how Leafs are being constructed

Published August 29, 2023 at 8:45

Now that the Leafs have locked up Auston Matthews for the next five years, all of the attention has turned to Mitch Marner and William Nylander. Nylander has been eligible to sign an extension since July 1, but is in no rush to do so. Marner, on the other hand, won't be eligible until July 1 of next season, but that hasn't stopped Toronto media from talking about what his next deal could look like. Yesterday on TSN1050's First Up Aaron Korolnek and Dave Feschuk discussed Matthews' new deal and how disappointed they are in the Leafs for giving their stars all of the power.

"In its essence, it's true. Auston Matthews could have gone to the Leafs and been like, listen I want a three-year deal at $15M a season," said Korolnek. "What're they gunna do? trade him? I guess it's possible. I don't see how you're improving your team. Matthews held all the cards had all the leverage and this is the determination they came to. I have heard from a couple people Matthews was looking for a three-year deal and the Leafs were looking for longer and they were able to come to the resolution that it was to be a four-year term. So five years keeps him in Toronto. All things considered I think Treliving is right... You can say Treliving needs to grow some balls and hold strong, but what did you want the guy to do? Matthews holds the cards and ultimately wanted a three-year term, they got him to a four-year term so it's five years he's in Toronto. The AAV is very reasonable considering the rising salary cap. I don't see how you can cast dispersions on this deal from the Leafs' side."

There was not much Treliving could do in the situation he was put in by former GM Kyle Dubas. Feschuk doubled-down and agreed with Korolnek's take, but also had a very blunt take of how the team has been constructed.

"This whole era, five years is a long time in pro sports, but Matthews, William Nylander, Mitch Marner have been here seven years, it's been an awfully long time... and they haven't produced much in the way of success outside of last year's single playoff series win. The players hold the cards here, the players set the tone. it's the players and their agents who have put the Leafs in the position they are in. Are they better? The team's getting more expensive and the players are staying the same."

The Leafs have largely remained the same, being built around the same core, but for how much success they have been projected to have, they have struggled mightily and maybe changing the dynamic of the team was what was needed instead of running it back with the same core. It's tough to argue there.

August 29   |   473 answers
Radio hosts not impressed with how Leafs are being constructed

Did the Leafs make a mistake by not trading one of their core players this summer?

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