Auston Matthews Was Almost Given Offer Sheet

In 2019, the Toronto Maple Leafs signed Auston Matthews to a 5 year deal with an annual cap hit of $11.6 million. Many people felt this was a significant over payment, but Kyle Dubas' decision may be justified based on newly surfaced information.

As a guest of the Spittin' Chiclets podcast, Elliotte Friedman stated  that the Maple Leafs organization 100% expected an offer sheet from the Arizona Coyotes. This would be an interesting transaction, considering Matthews is from the state of Arizona.
"I will tell you this, the Toronto Maple Leafs 100% believed that if Auston Matthews got to July 1st last year, Arizona was gonna offer sheet him 7 yeras the max. I have looked at it and people around the league have told me they believe that to be the case." - Elliotte Friedman 
GM Kyle Dubas knew that this was significant leverage during the contract negotiation process. Many were critical of his decision at the time, but it seems that Matthew's has so far upheld his end of the contract.

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