Do you cheer for the Toronto Maple Leafs? Cool. We need to talk.
Summer won’t last forever, you know. In a few short weeks, the warm winds of August will soon morph into the chilly October air. Patios will close down as patrons a need for warmth drives patrons inside. Sweaters will replace t-shirts.
And, before you know it, commercials will begin reminding you to get ready for Christmas.
What I’m trying to say here is, enjoy the current final gasp of summer weather. Do not spend these remaining sunny days trapped inside, and definitely, DEFINITELY, don’t spend them worrying about an event that MIGHT happen a full five years down the road.
Why am I telling you this? Well, because you need to hear it.
Yesterday afternoon, the Arizona State University Sun Devils released a video to unveil their brand new jerseys for the upcoming season. To add some flair to the proceedings, the school brought in none other than Auston Matthews, the hometown boy, to model their bold new design in full, with Matthews twirling around on the ice for a few seconds to demonstrate them in action.
Naturally, because this fanbase is incapable of actually enjoying things, Twitter went crazy.
The most overwhelming response to this video was simple: “Matthews is sooooo gone in five years when his contract is up. He’ll cash in with the Coyotes, head home, and live out his childhood dream. Why else would he model the new jerseys of a university in his home state?”
Well, there are a few things to unpack here.
Namely, if Matthews does opt to pull a Tavares in 2024 and head back to Arizona, that is absolutely, 100% his right. He deserves zero criticism for it. None. This kid has been on the other side of the continent for the bulk of his adult life, away from his family and friends, and no one should ever blame him for seeking familiarity at the first opportunity to do so.
That being said, to worry about this event one day happening before Matthews’ newly-signed contract extension with the Maple Leafs even has a chance to kick in is downright outrageous. Frankly, it’s embarrassing.
Matthews is locked in to be a Toronto Maple Leaf for the next five years. That is half a decade. Do you have any idea how long five years actually is? And, perhaps more importantly, do you have any idea how much can happen in that span of time?
Dave freaking Bolland was a Maple Leaf five years ago. Toronto was still trying to squeeze every ounce of value from the second year of David Clarkson‘s contract back in 2014, while Cody Franson was on his way to finishing fourth in overall team scoring. Still not convinced? Carter Ashton was logging games for the 2014-15 Maple Leafs, hopelessly doomed to a fate of eight minutes a night under the tyrannical reign of Randy Carlyle.
Not to mention, five years is more than enough time to win a Stanley Cup. Heck, it’s enough to walk away with two or three or four. The possibility of Matthews hitting the road is such a non-factor at the moment that I’m sure Kyle Dubas, one of the most big-picture GMs in the entire league, has paid precisely zero thought to it this summer.
If the guy who runs the team isn’t worried about it, then you shouldn’t either. Go soak up the sun, pet a dog, and get a tan. Auston Matthews is a Leaf, has been a Leaf, and will stay a Leaf for at least the next five full years.
What more could you possibly ask for?