The Toronto Maple Leafs made a significant announcement on Wednesday, revealing Auston Matthews’ four-year contract extension. The news arrived as a relief to the team’s fervent fans, with Matthews committing to a mid-term deal valued at $13.25 million per year. Commencing from the 2024-25 NHL season and until the age of 31, he is now the highest-earning player in the NHL, and will be in a prime position to land another big deal at that time.
Promptly following the announcement, there were questions about a William Nylander extension. GM Brad Treliving talked about Nylander’s future with the team, calling him a star, but noting that there was no hurry to get a deal finalized. As Nylander approaches free agency next year, negotiations revolve around his desired $10 million contract versus the team’s objective of securing him for around $8 million.
However, a pivotal discussion during the 32 Thoughts podcast, specifically focusing on Mitch Marner, took an unexpected turn due to Elliotte Friedman’s remarks. Friedman remarked, “What is Marner’s next number? Because he was the closest one to Matthews. When Matthews signed for 11.634 AAV all of a sudden Marner became close to an $11M player, so now Matthews’ number is 13.25, what’s Marner’s number? Is it 13.249999?”
The swift emergence of speculation about Marner potentially earning $13 million annually in his upcoming contract negotiations has stirred unease among fans, who are beginning to recognize the potential negative precedent set by Matthews’ new deal in Toronto.
Fan Reaction To Marner Over $13 Million Suggests Early Discourse
Initial fan reactions have been varied, with some finding the notion of Marner at $13 million per year outlandish. One individual expressed, “Marner at 13M a year is hilarious.” Another voiced their concern, “It’s hard to see Marner above $12M right now, even with a $4M ceiling increase next year. If he has another big year he might get to $12.5M. If we’re talking about Matthews or more, you trade him.”
Another sentiment conveyed frustration with the exceptional nature of the contract in relation to market norms, “Not concerned with the AAV aside from the lack of term attached to it but it’s still frustrating that it always seems to be our guys signing the market outlier, precedent-setting contracts.”
The aftermath of Matthews’ contract extension has ignited a broader dialogue about the financial landscape of the team and the potential implications for other key players.
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