The deal is signed, Auston Matthews will be a Leaf another 5 years.
This coming season will still see Matthews as the 4th highest AAV in the NHL, behind Connor McDavid, Nathan MacKinnon and Artemi Panarin, but yes, he is set to become the highest paid player in the league starting in 2024.
I know people won’t be thrilled about my opinion on this, but the next 3 highest paid players in the league signed for max term, while Matthews continues to refuse to commit long term to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Because he is about to finish a 5 year pact and will follow that one up with a 4 year deal, it’s my belief that he doesn’t intend to spend his entire career in Toronto.
4 years from now, whether a Stanley Cup has been won in Toronto or not, I believe we’ll be talking about the end of the Auston Matthews era. I believe that we’ll be hoping that he will agree to a trade and leave Toronto in better shape than the next most talented player in Leafs history, Mats Sundin, did.
For now, I’ll continue to enjoy watching Matthews score goals for the blue and white and hope that they can manage to win it all.