The Toronto Maple Leafs, specifically their rookie (at the time) general manager took a lot of heat when they (he) signed Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner to contract extensions after their entry-level deals.
The Toronto Maple Leafs took heat for three things specifically: 1) the high cap hit, 2) the term not being the maximum, and 3) waiting too long to sign these deals.
At the time, all three of these things were reasonable complaints, but time has made the contracts team-friendly, thus vindicating the Leafs and their GM, while proving the critics completely wrong.
Or at least it would have, if the team had won a playoff series at any time along the way. The Leafs losing in seven straight first round playoff series makes it almost impossible to fairly analyze anything to do with the team.
Even though the losses were pretty fluky (the Leafs had a 50% or better expected-goals rating in 16 of their last 19 playoff games, and still managed to lose three series) and even though the referees blew game six so badly that they basically forced the Leafs to win five games in order to advance, it still makes it hard, after seven years, to try be positive about this team at all.
But let’s try.
Results and curses aside, I think the Leafs still take a bad and unfair rap for the contracts they signed their two franchise players to. Those contracts are giving the Leafs team-friendly cap hits, and have been for years, and to my mind, that means Dubas made good deals.