NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs Star Likely To Re-Sign Short-Term

As one of the biggest stars in the league whose contract is over after next season, there continues to be speculation around what Auston Matthews is going to do for his next contract. Will it be short-term, long-term, with the Toronto Maple Leafs, or elsewhere?

Elliotte Friedman believes Matthews will re-sign in Toronto when his contract is up, but doesn't think it'll be a long-term deal. We saw this with Matthews' last contract. Instead of committing long-term on his first deal, he signed a five-year, $11.634 million AAV deal. With the salary cap rising, it's likely he will become the highest paid player in the league when he signs his new deal.

The Maple Leafs have failed to make it out of the first round in six consecutive seasons, losing five of those series in a row in the winner takes all game. The team regularly finishes very strong in the regular season, even recording the best Maple Leafs team record last season, but can't get over the hump. Friedman also believes there is no reason to think Matthews is unhappy, but they have to constantly monitor how he's feeling.

The reason being for the likelihood of a short-term deal for Matthews is because of the lack of playoff success in Toronto. The core five are paid a huge sum of the money and it has been very difficult to fill the depth around them. They have experienced a lot of problems with that this season already. If the Maple Leafs continue to fail to make any progress in the playoffs, Matthews could very well decide to try his luck on another team who can.

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