NHL Rumors: Toronto Maple Leafs – Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner
A five or six year contract extension could be in place between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Auston Matthews by the trade deadline.
Offer sheets for Matthews and Marner if not signed

NHL Prospects Watcher: Pierre McGuire last night on Toronto Maple Leafs pending restricted free agents Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner: “If they don’t have those guys signed by a certain period of time, there will be offer sheets. There will be offer sheets.”

Matthews not worried about getting a deal signed quickly

Michael Traikos of the Toronto Sun: Toronto Maple Leafs pending RFA Auston Matthews worrying about getting his next contract signed quickly. The sides have been talking.

“I mean, I wouldn’t say it’s a relief,” Matthews said of wanting to get the contract signed. “I would say it’s just another step. For me, it’s not something I think about much. When it happens and it gets done, it gets done.”

Mitch Marner’s camp said they will wait until after the season.

Marner and Matthews don’t talk about their pending free agency when they are together.

“It’s not really something that comes up, I guess,” said Matthews. “If we do talk, it’s not really hockey-related, it’s really just anything. I think it’s just a big distraction as far as with the media and Toronto and the way they play it out and everything. But I don’t think it’s something that either of us stresses about too much in our minds. I just think we want to go out and play hockey and have fun.

“That’s why you have agents that take care of this stuff.”

McKenzie on Matthews talks

Maple Leafs Hot Stove: Bob McKenzie was on TSN 1050 talking about Auston Matthews and his contract negotiations with the Maple Leafs. GM Kyle Dubas is only saying there is “healthy dialogue” but gets the sense that there is a chance a contract extension is in place before the trade deadline.

“I think there is a chance it could get done sooner rather than later is I think they’ve gotten off the… It is much, much, much less likely now that it will be a seven- or eight-year deal. I think the problem with an eight-year deal, even though I think Matthews initially wanted an eight-year deal, is that the number would just be so large.

All of these agents with players like this work with percentage of cap, and if you take Connor McDavid’s percentage of cap at the time he signed versus what the cap is going to be this year, you are looking at probably over $13 million a year for Auston Matthews. That starts to make the cookie jar a little too full for everyone else.

Now, I think it is much more likely to be a five-year deal or a six-year deal and the numbers would come down appropriately.”

McKenzie adds that the money could be in the $11.5 million range, with a $500,000 swing in either direction. Structure and signing bonuses would need to be figured out.

If the Maple Leafs hadn’t signed John Tavares this past offseason, believes Matthews would be getting an eight-year deal around $13 to $13.5 million a season.

“The one thing you can’t do, in my mind, is give Marner and Matthews the exact same term because you don’t want this situation happening again. You want to stagger it one way or the other. But that’s just me talking. I am no Kyle Dubas.”