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Auston Matthews insists he wants to stay in Toronto

Following the Leafs’ elimination, we all asked ourselves the same question.

Will the team’s core change? After all, the team disappointed (again) by being eliminated fairly quickly in the second round of the playoffs, and they didn’t live up to expectations. It’s the same tape that’s been playing for so many, many years…

And that’s why we can expect big changes, both on the ice and in the management offices.

Lately, the idea of Auston Matthews being traded this summer has become popular. Some believe that the Leafs have an interest in trading him now, rather than losing him for nothing in the summer of 2024, when he becomes an autonomous player with compensation…

And that’s where it gets interesting, because on July 1, a no-movement clause kicks in for the final year of his contract.

Asked about his future in the Queen City earlier today, the American told reporters that “his intention is to stay in Toronto for the long term”.

Matthews reiterated that he loves playing for the Leafs and even added that he is open to signing a contract extension before the start of next season.

On this subject, Elliotte Friedman said this morning that Matthews could be looking to sign a 4 or 5-year contract in order to become the NHL’s highest-paid player…

And the Sportsnet tipster maintains that he believes the Leafs are ready to give him that kind of money.

Is this really the right decision?

On the other side of the coin, Auston Matthews wasn’t about to go on camera and say he’s thinking of playing elsewhere in the near future. Can you imagine the commotion that would have created in Toronto?

In reality, it all depends on the management changes that are made in the coming weeks. If Dubas is fired, there’s a world in which the next GM wants to start “fresh” by trading some of his big contracts.

And, clearly, there is a world in which the next GM decides to move forward without Auston Matthews. Here again, we mustn’t forget that he will be an uncompensated independent player next summer, which is exactly why the organization needs to make decisions fairly quickly.

The Leafs don’t have the luxury of fooling around with the puck for too long. Not this time, anyway.

In bursts

– Like Matthews, Mitch Marner and Ilya Samsonov have expressed their desire to play in Toronto.

– Teuvo Terevainen is happy to be able to play.

– There are similarities.

– Interesting though.

– Remember this name well.

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