Maple Leafs New GM First Priority is to Re-Sign Auston Matthews
Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun: Koshan writes the new general manager for the Toronto Maple Leafs has an extensive to-do list when he is hired. The interview process is a long one, but the first and last priority is to re-sign Auston Matthews.
The Maple Leafs have the ability to re-sign Matthews to a new contract starting July 1st. That also happens to be the day when he is no-movement clause kicks in. If Matthews re-signs with the Maple Leafs he will spend the prime of his career in Toronto.
In a perfect world, a Matthews contract extension gets done with ease. The Maple Leafs keep an elite goal scorer and their number-one center for a long time. However, with so much uncertainty, Matthews is more than a question mark than ever. But that does not mean it still can’t get done. It will just take work.
There is a lot of work that needs to be done before July 1st because the Maple Leafs can’t let Matthews walk to free agency without a decision on if he wants to stay or not.
The Maple Leafs Have A John Tavares Problem That Needs Fixing
Nick Kypreos of the Toronto Star: Kypreos writes one of the biggest mistakes former Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas made was signing John Tavares. It changed the fortune of the Maple Leafs drastically but added tremendous pressure for this team to win.
In addition, having Matthews, Mitch Marner, Tavares, and William Nylander tying up the salary prevented the Maple Leafs from addressing other areas of need. And while Tavares was a good addition to the Maple Leafs, the difficult conversation for the new GM will have to happen.
While Tavares has no intention of waiving his no-movement clause, the Maple Leafs have to free up salary cap space, moving “the mistake signing” as Kypreos put it, is an option.
Tavares can still produce a point per game and it would be in the best interest of the Maple Leafs and their cap space to find him a new home.