News broke today that the Toronto Maples Leafs and Forward, Auston Matthews have agreed to a five-year, $58.15M contract, with a cap hit of $11.634M/year. With a base salary of $750,000, Matthews is making bank on signing bonuses, earning over $30M in the first two years of the contract.
Now what does this mean for Leafs’ Forward, Mitch Marner? We all know both camps have sort of been waiting for the other to see the price tag they will come in at. I can expect Marner to be asking for similar cash as Matthews around that $11M mark. But is that really going to be possible?
Wingers will typically make less than Centremen in the NHL, so the Leafs have that going for them. Perhaps a contract comparable to Nikita Kucherov will be more likely for Marner at the $9.5M mark.
We’re just going to have to wait and see. Marner could sign a 3 year contract and remain an RFA afterwards. The last thing the Leafs would want is another 5 year contract, which would have him expire at the same time as Matthews. How about a 4 year contract? Perhaps not as that would make Marner a UFA upon expiration, getting him there even sooner.
Personally, I’m thinking the Leafs will have to sign Marner to a 3 year, $10M contract. As I said, this will keep Marner as an RFA afterwards and would guarantee 3 years with the lineup of Tavares, Matthews and Marner. Sorry Leafs fans - you may have to enjoy the next three years of Marner and say your goodbyes. At least you’ll get a good return for him.