While Toronto Maple Leafs fans are still waiting to see who will be taking over for Lou Lamoriello as their team’s general manager, one thing is certain: whoever fills general manager’s role going forward will need to make the futures of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander their top priority.
There has been much chatter about how much they should command, how long they will be re-signed for and even if a blockbuster trade should involve one of the three young stars. For Matthews, the number probably lies somewhere between Connor McDavid’s eight-year, $100-million contract and Jack Eichel’s eight-year, $80-million deal. And as long as Marner continues to produce at an elite level, there isn’t a reason why he shouldn’t be demanding the same.
For Matthews’ extension, the number is expected to lie somewhere between Connor McDavid’s eight-year, $100-million contract and Jack Eichel’s eight-year, $80-million deal.
As long as Marner continues to produce at an elite level, there isn’t a reason why he shouldn’t be demanding the same.
Now, there is a twist in this numbers’ game. NHL insider Bob McKenzie believes that they two players should not re-sign this summer.
“If I’m them, I’m not signing this summer, I am betting on myself, they’ll probably have even better seasons next year, if I am them, I am taking this all the way to the end of their entry-level contracts.”
McKenzie’s TSN colleague Darren Dreger also believes that Marner’s value is high and that the young top forward should cash in as much as Matthews.
“His value is real high…some in Marner’s camp believe contract should be similar to Matthews.”
As things are going now, the two Leafs star players are only set to get better, and McKenzie’s suggestions could be the best of their career. However, it could be more of a gamble for Marner, who did have a fantastic season, but could either regress next year or worse, suffer an injury.
However, first things first: the Leafs have to re-sign Nylander, whose entry-level contract expires on July 1, making him a restricted free agent.
And it won’t be cheap there either…