Forget Mitch Marner: Should the Toronto Maple Leafs Trade Auston Matthews?

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Seven
Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Seven / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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Toronto Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews is arguably the greatest player in team history, but should he get traded?

Let's get crazy for a second. It would be very unlikley that the Toronto Maple Leafs actually trade Auston Matthews, but hear me out.

If the Leafs traded Marner, which the entire Internet wants to happen, they would definitely get a good haul, but imagine what the team could get for Matthews? Could they get three 1st Round picks, a high-end prospect and a current NHL player for Matthews? Or would someone like the New York Rangers package Igor Shesterkin and maybe a roster player/picks to acquire his star talent? Doesn't Matthews feel like a perfect player for New York?

When it comes to Matthews, the hypothetical trade machine is endless because I think the only player that would be untouchable in a Matthews trade is Connor McDavid. Besides that, there's a world where any other player in the NHL could find their way to Toronto.

Trading Matthews Isn't the Craziest Idea

As crazy as this sounds, it's really not the dumbest concept to trade Matthew. The 27-year-old sniper might be the best goal-scorer since Alex Ovechkin, but if you compare him to Ovechkin, the Washington Capitals have only gone further than the Second Round once in his career. They eventually won a Stanley Cup after 13 tries in 2018, but 95 percent of the time, the Capitals season has ended shorter than many predicted.

The Leafs would obviously be thrilled with winning one Stanley Cup in 20 years of Matthews, but is that one lottery ball worth spending on Matthews? It's not like the team would be a botom-feeder offensively, if he left. They would still have Tavares, Marner and Nylander, with the likes of Nick Robertson, Matthew Knies, Fraser Minten, Easton Cowan and others to help score. Not only that, but with Matthews in the line-up, it's not like he's really helped the team, as of late.

Besides going 2-0 in his absence this playoffs, in Matthews' last 10 playoff games, he only has one goal. That's completely unacceptable for a guy who just scored 69 in his last 81 regular season games, so why would you want to risk your future on someone who doesn't show up when it counts?

Wouldn't you rather get a King's Ransom for him and use his skill on a bundle of players, or an elite goaltender that can steal you a playoff series? The game of hockey is such a team sport that as much as you'd prefer to have the best player on the ice at all times, it doesn't suggest you'll win, unlike basketball or football.

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This hypothetical will probably never happen, but just once, I wish the NHL took a book out of the NBA's, as it would be so much more fun to see superstars changing teams every year, instead of being stuck on the same organization for 20 years.