Published: Wed, February 06, 2019
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Maple Leafs lock up Auston Matthews to 5-year extension

Maple Leafs lock up Auston Matthews to 5-year extension

With star centreman Auston Matthews inked to a newly-signed five-year, $58.17-million extension, announced by the team Tuesday, Dubas' attention now turns to Mitch Marner, the last remaining unsigned piece of the club's core. Ninety-three per cent of his newfound fortune will be paid out in signing bonuses.

The deal, which keeps Matthews in Toronto until 2023-24, when he will be 26 years old, also ends the debate of another team signing the generational talent to an offer sheet this summer.

Matthews will have a full no-movement clause in the final year of his deal, which is the first year it can kick in, according to Sportsnet's John Shannon.

This news is a sigh of relief for both Toronto management and the fan base alike after it spent six months collectively stressing over William Nylander's contract holdout that ended on December 1, 2018, which was the deadline date.

The Maple Leafs just locked up Auston Matthews.

The average annual value of the contract is $11.634 million.

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Like Marner, Matthews was eligible to become a restricted free agent on July 1 after their three-year rookie deals expire.

In 182 career National Hockey League regular season games, he has recorded 178 points (97 goals, 81 assists), while registering seven points (5 goals, 2 assists) in 13 career Stanley Cup playoff games. That season, he set Toronto rookie records for goals (40) and points (69).

As of now, the Maple Leafs are 32-17-3, good for 67 points and second in the Atlantic behind the Lightning. The Scottsdale, Arizona native has also represented Toronto at the NHL All-Star Game in three consecutive seasons (2016, 2017, 2018). The team's leader in points, Marner has increased his value considerably in his third season and stands to make more out of restricted free agency now than he had at the start of the season.

When former GM Lou Lamoriello signed Marner to his entry-level deal, included were the negotiated Schedule A bonuses - worth up to $850,000 annually - but Ferris was told the club would not hand out Schedule B bonuses and their potential additional $2 million, he told Feschuk.

Like Matthews, Toronto still has to come to terms with Marner, who is in the final year of his rookie contract and leads the team with 63 points in 52 games.

For Maple Leafs' management, however, that's a discussion for another day.

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