Matthews won’t comment on contract situation throughout season

Posted: 21/09/2022 in NHL
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Toronto Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews won’t let contract discussions turn into a distraction this coming season.

“I want to be clear about the contract stuff. I’m going to touch on it today, and that’s it,” the reigning MVP said Wednesday as Toronto opened training camp, per Sports Illustrated’s David Alter. “I’m focused on the season, and we’ll deal with it then. I love playing here, I consider it home now.”

Matthews is under contract with the Leafs for two more seasons at an $11.64-million cap hit. He isn’t eligible to sign an extension until next summer but was asked about the topic in the wake of Nathan MacKinnon inking an eight-year, $100.8-million megadeal Tuesday.

“It’s well-deserved,” Matthews said of MacKinnon signing the league’s biggest contract. “As far as my situation, I’m not too focused on that, it’s still a couple of years away.”

Matthews is currently the NHL’s third-highest-paid player, trailing only Connor McDavid and Artemi Panarin until MacKinnon’s new deal kicks in for the 2023-24 campaign.

The 25-year-old Matthews will surely be in the running to usurp MacKinnon’s contract. He’s recorded 457 points in 407 games since being drafted first overall in 2016 while leading the league in goals (259) over that span. Matthews – who’s scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency in 2024 – has won the Calder Trophy, Hart Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award, and two Maurice “Rocket” Richards through the first six years of his career.

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