Toronto Maple Leafs: 3 Potentially Necessary Trades for Auston Matthews

Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs and his beautiful mustache (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs and his beautiful mustache (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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The Toronto Maple Leafs are now almost two full weeks since Auston Matthews was eligible to sign an extension and the two sides have yet to settle on a contract.

The goal should always for the Toronto Maple Leafs to find a way to extend Matthews and not have to go down the trade route.

I believe that you ask Matthews how long he wants and for how much, you then put pen to paper.  However, if the two sides enter August and have not yet settled on a contract, GM Brad Treliving has to explore trading their top player.

The first overall pick from the 2016 NHL Entry Draft has been everything fans could have imagined.  On October 12, 2016, the phenom entered the league and scored four goals in his debut and since then no other player has scored more goals than Matthews.

The 299 goals that the 2017 Calder Trophy winner has scored is two more than Alex Ovechkin who has played 27 more games, while Connor McDavid sits third while playing 43 more games.  In fact, the top 15 goal scorers over that time frame have all played more games than Matthews with the exception of Nikita Kucherov who trails Matthews by 91 goals.

His scoring prowess has led to a pair of Rocket Richard Trophies, a Hart Trophy and the Ted Lindsay award as the best player in the league selected by his peers.

If trade route is where the organization has to go down, they do have a small complication with being able to trade Matthews as he had a No Movement Clause kick in on July 1.  However, I do not see this as being a problem, as the only factor in this is that Matthews gets to pick where he gets traded to.

A team acquiring Matthews will likely want to sign an extension any ways, which would mean they wouldn’t pay the price to acquire him unless they new they were getting him long term (with one exception, we will save that for our third team).

Here is a look at three possible teams that may make sense for a trade to occur to send the league’s top goal scorer. (stats