Leafs re-sign Auston Matthews to five-year contract

Leafs re-sign Auston Matthews to five-year contract

The former National Hockey League rookie of the year from Scottsdale, Ariz., has also represented Toronto at the National Hockey League all-star game in each of his three seasons.

The Maple Leafs, of course, also signed William Nylander to a huge extension through 2024 after Nylander held out for the first leg of the season.

Here's a year-by-year breakdown of the deal, courtesy of TSN's Bob McKenzie.

Matthews, 21, is in his third season with the Leafs and was the NHL's rookie of the year in 2016-17.

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the club has agreed to terms with forward Auston Matthews on a five-year contract extension.

While Tampa Bay's frequently mentioned income tax rates are slightly advantageous (37% as opposed to Toronto's 46.16%), the Leafs' financial freedom to front-load massive signing bonuses on contracts can largely offset any unfair salary cap advantage that Tampa Bay might have (See John Tavares' contract). "I'll leave it to [Dubas and my agents]". Forwards Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson are eligible to become restricted free agents while defenceman Jake Gardiner is headed towards unrestricted free agency. Marner's representatives have said they don't intend to negotiate a new contract during the season.

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This much is clear: Whichever route Matthews and Marner choose to take, their decisions will have important implications for the future success of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The 21-year-old Marner leads the Leafs in scoring this season with 63 points (20 goals and 43 assists).

Coming off a contentious negotiation with Nylander over last summer and fall, Dubas will be motivated to not let history repeat itself with Marner.

The contract makes Matthews the highest-paid player on the Maple Leafs (not to mention the NHL's second-highest paid player) - and few would argue that he doesn't deserve to be.

The narrative surrounding the team could become quickly sour if the Lightning consistently get the better of a contract-shackled Leafs team come playoff time.

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