After what might need felt like an eternity for Maple Leafs trustworthy, the Auston Matthews extension holdout has come to a detailed.
In accordance with Elliotte Friedman, Matthews has signed with Toronto for a 4-year, $13.25 million AAV, which surpasses Nathan MacKinnon for the best AAV of any participant in NHL historical past.
Whereas that is clearly a monster deal for one of the crucial deserving gamers, and should increase questions down the road for Brad Treliving trying to retain their ‘Core 4’, it will not be as team-crippling as it could appear.
Getting into the 2023-24 season, there was rather a lot to be found out after one other disappointing finish to the Maple Leafs season. The principle concern, which had been looming since Toronto signed it’s future captain John Tavares in 2018, was how they’d have sufficient cap area for Matthews, Tavares, Mitch Marner and William Nylander.
So, by the top of the Florida Panthers sequence, they knew that they’d Matthews and Nylander for only one extra season, and Tavares and Marner for 2.
Now after the deal, Nylander is the one ahead left. However as of Tom Gulitti’s article at this time earlier than the Matthews extension, he’s hoping to remain in Toronto.
So whereas this extension makes it robust to think about a deal will probably be performed with Nylader earlier than the season, it doesn’t utterly eradicate him from returning all collectively, as a result of this signing clearly exhibits Brad Treliving’s perception that the wage cap will rise considerably for 2024.
With nonetheless some fillings to be decided, the Maple Leafs are already $13-million over the wage cap. However, with the anticipated rise of $4 million in 2024-25, and a number of other bigger contracts coming off the books (Jacob Muzzin, T.J. Brodie, Tyler Bertuzzi), a lane for Nylander’s multi-year deal might be of their future.
The one difficulty from Toronto’s perspective is the leverage Nylander positive aspects from turning into a free agent after the season, the place there will definitely be a marketplace for the 87-point participant final 12 months.
Regardless, a top-heavy ahead’s unit with just one sequence win within the postseason may not appear to be a sound philosophy to win within the NHL. However with the expertise degree of those 4, it’s straightforward to know the need to maintain them collectively.
And though the Tavares deal at all times appeared like it could handcuff the group’s skill to spend, Kyle Dubas and now Treliving have appeared to discover a option to evade his price ticket, which is now going to be put to the take a look at much more within the subsequent two years.
Nevertheless, it would appear to be price it for a former Hart Trophy winner, who heading into his age-26 season exhibits zero indicators of slowing down.