Skip to content
Auston Matthews in Montreal: TSN’s suggestion doesn’t fly
Next year, Auston Matthews will be as free as a bird. But until then, his future is the talk of the town.

It’s true that, in the wake of the Maple Leafs’ elimination in the second round, it’s possible to believe that changes will take place. After all, just because Toronto won two games more than usual in the playoffs doesn’t mean the recipe is right, does it?

So, even if Matthews is open to the idea of staying with the Leafs, it’s safe to assume that Toronto will want to make a fresh start by trading the goal scorer, who isn’t exactly Mr. Series.

But it’s also likely that the club will want to keep him, even if they risk losing him in a few months’ time.

All that to say, it’s hard to know what will happen, but there’s still a good chance he’ll be playing elsewhere in 2023-2024. It’s a possibility on the table, in any case.

And clearly, it’s the talk of the town.

After all, we can expect Kyle Dubas (until proven otherwise, he’s the club’s GM) to receive many calls from other league executives.

And that’s to be expected.

That said, if there’s one club that shouldn’t necessarily be seriously interested in Matthews, it’s the Habs. Why wouldn’t they be? Because the Leafs are rivals, of course, but also because he doesn’t fit in with what the CH is trying to do.

With a one-year contract, it’s not the best idea… but that hasn’t stopped Montreal radio station TSN 690 from speculating.

The question was posed on social networks: what if the Habs sent the fifth overall pick, Mike Matheson and Cole Caufield in return for Matthews’ services?

And let’s just say, Montreal fans wouldn’t.

With a one-year contract, that’s obviously a no. Even if the Habs want to be better next year, they’re not going to make it among the NHL’s elite, and having Matthews for just one year wouldn’t make sense.

I think that’s a given: Kent Hughes won’t sacrifice his future unnecessarily.

Where the question might get interesting is if Matthews were to sign a contract extension… but then again, I don’t think that’s a logical scenario.

Why not? Because if he signs, the Leafs will keep him. What’s more, he has a no-movement clause that comes into effect on July 1 for the last year of his contract.

I don’t see the Leafs going behind his back to sign him long-term and trade him to Montreal before July 1, for two reasons. First, it would be a mean dirty trick.

And second, and most importantly: he can’t officially sign before July 1, when his protection kicks in. So yes, a club that went after him before July 1 would do so without a long-term contract.

But then again. Let’s say Matthews wanted to sign a contract extension in Montreal (for some reason that escapes me) for the future. Would the transaction be worth it?

If the guy signed for five years? It’s a possibility on the table, after all.

For five years, would the CH be better off giving Matheson and two excellent youngsters (including a crowd favorite who has the potential to become an Auston Matthews in the best of all possible worlds) when the first few years of the contract will be played out in a rebuild?

I don’t know.

On an eight-year contract, that’s another debate. Again, this is in a hypothetical scenario in which Matthews would forgo going to play in the U.S. not to stay in Toronto, but to come to Montreal. #ImprobableEnMaudit

Then you’d have to decide if the price was worth it. Does the Habs have the appetite to make room under the salary cap to sign such a playoff fading player?

Remember that Caufield did well in the playoffs in 2021. He had 12 points in 20 games a few weeks after leaving the NCAA and joining the Canadiens.

Anyway, it’s a big question… but I understand the reaction of the fans below the publication because no, it’s not going to happen. And if I were Kent Hughes, I’d probably say no to such an offer because we’re talking about three big pieces for the club.

In brief

– When will he be back in the game?

– Artturi Lehkonen is loved in Colorado. [TSLH]

– What does the future hold for the Lions?

– Filip Mesar enjoyed his first year in Canada. [RDT]

– Things are hopping in Toronto.

More Content