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Contract Talks Progressing For Auston Matthews

from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,

Toronto’s coming salary-cap crunch has always figured to be difficult to navigate. In the hard-ceilinged world of the NHL, every contender eventually finds itself in the same kind of overcrowded boat, and it’s never long before perfectly good players are being thrown over the side as a matter of simple survival. So if pending restricted free agents Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner took Nylander’s lead and decided to get militant in their approach to negotiations — well, that’d make for rough sailing aboard the S.S. Shanaplan.

The sudden talk of a shorter term is favourable for the team in one way; fewer years come with a smaller annual average salary-cap hit, which is important for a team that’s going to be up against the cap for many years to come. And if five-year deals were good enough for the likes of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane when they were emerging from their entry-level contracts — winning their first of three Stanley Cups under the terms of rookie-scale deals in 2010 — surely they’ll work for Matthews.

Still, let’s not kid ourselves, in an ideal world the Leafs would clearly prefer an eight-year pact. Having Matthews under contract until he’s 29 would lock him up for his prime.

more

Below, watch Chris Johnston of Sportsnet on the talks...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: auston+matthews

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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