– Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) August 23, 2023
Since the beginning of the summer, Toronto had been monitoring the Auston Matthews situation. The player, who would become an unrestricted free agent in a year’s time, was Brad Treliving’s #1 priority and the club wanted to sign him.
And now it’s done: Matthews has signed a four-year pact for an annual salary of $13.25 million.
He thus surpasses (by far) the annual salary of Nathan MacKinnon, who was the circuit’s highest-paid player at $12.6 million per year.
In fact, it’s not a huge surprise considering he was expected to become the highest-paid player on the circuit. The rumor since the beginning of the summer was that he was likely to sign a shorter-term pact with a huge annual salary.
And in the end, that’s exactly what happened.
He didn’t sign the biggest pact in league history (MacKinnon signed an eight-year, $100.8-million contract last summer), but the annual salary is far greater than MacKinnon’s.
And in reality, it’s all to Matthews’ advantage: the forward will receive a huge sum of money over the next four years, and he’ll have the opportunity to sign another huge contract in four years’ time, when he’ll be just 29 and the salary cap will have risen significantly.
In fact, even before the official signing announcement, Matthews posted a message on his X account (formerly Twitter) to give Toronto some big love. In the end, he “announced” his signing before anyone else.
I feel fortunate to continue this journey as a Maple Leaf in front of the best fans in field hockey! I will do everything I can to help get us to the top of the mountain. GLG! #LeafsForever
– Auston Matthews (@AM34) August 23, 2023
More details to come…