A couple big questions leading up to October revolves around the one and only Auston Matthews. Kyle Dubas is currently working out a contract extension with Matthews’ camp, and we all sit and wonder, just how much will get? While nobody can say for certain how much he will get, we can look at some comparable players to analyze the most likely scenario.
Two players I’m currently looking at are Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. These are two similar aged franchise #1 centers for their respective teams, and came with a lot of hype. With two/three seasons under their belts it’s safe to say that Matthews fits somewhere between the two.
Eichel signed an 8 year, $10 million per year contract. McDavid signed an 8 year $12.5 million per year contract. So logically, it seems fairly likely to me that Matthews signs right around the $11.5 million per year mark. Everyone is still on the high of John Tavares signing with the Leafs, but let’s not forget this is still Auston’s team. I can see a scenario where he makes the exact same as Tavares at $11 million, but certainly not less. For those arguing that Matthews is an RFA and will make less because of that, is a pipe dream. With franchise talents it doesn’t matter if you are a UFA or RFA; you’re getting paid what you’re worth.
This brings me to the next question. Will Matthews get the captaincy? Staying consistent with what I’ve said, this is Auston’s team. For that reason I feel confident they will give him the C as well. It may be before the season begins or they may wait a little longer, but rest assured it will go to Matthews. The other obvious candidates are Tavares and Rielly, but I don’t see it. I’m sure they will each get an A, and be happy to concede the captaincy to the player who has become the face of the franchise.