Look away now, Toronto Maple Leafs fans…
Auston Matthews, one of the biggest stars in the league, enters the final year of his five-year contract this fall. The Toronto Maple Leafs, of course, want to keep their No. 1 center, and it’s hard to even imagine a player like Matthews moving to another organization.
Matthews was drafted by the Leafs in 2016, and made an immediate impact. He’s a franchise player, alternate captain, and a great ambassador for the Maple Leafs.
But now, a shocking development may unfold in Toronto. Everyone has taken it for granted that Matthews will sign a new deal with the Maple Leafs, but NHL insider Andy Strickland claims otherwise.
In the Cam&Strick Podcast, Strickland suggests it may happen sooner rather than later that we’ll see Matthews in a new team.
“I’m breaking it, because they’d better sign his ass this summer,” he said in the podcast. “If they don’t sign him this summer, they may have to move him. In fact, I think they have no choice but to move him if they don’t sign him this summer.”
Strickland claims it’s too big of a risk for Toronto not to trade him this summer.
”You gonna lose him for nothing? That is risky, and I don’t think he’s going to re-sign there.
“If they lose early (in the playoffs), and you’re going to get a boatload, obviously for Matthews, you’d get a shit-ton. But all I’m saying is that you can’t lose him for nothing, and you’ll probably have to trade him this summer. Sorry Toronto, I hate to do that to you.”
It’s almost absurd to think about what Toronto will ask in return for one of the most talented players in the league. Strickland jokingly said that Toronto will ask for, ”Like, 20 1st-round pick.”
He then continued:
”They’re going to have to make him the highest paid player in the game, which he will be. But just like Matthew Tkachuk last season, he steered his way to Florida. Auston is going to be able to do the same thing. Who’s going to step up and trade for Auston Matthews this summer?”