TSN Analyst Reveals Panic Date For Maple Leafs And Auston Matthews

Tyler Ball
August 22, 2023  (1:45 PM)

The Auston Matthews contract has been heavily on the minds of the hockey world this offseason. The superstar center's contract is set to expire at the end of the upcoming season. In a recent segment on the OverDrive show the crew talked with TSN Analyst Martin Biron about Matthews and the contract situation.

Biron Joins OverDrive

Former NHL goaltender and current TSN and Buffalo Sabres analyst Martin Biron joined the OverDrive show to talk about Auston Matthews. They discussed a timeline for an extension and when the panic mode may set in for the organization:
Marty, Toronto tends to be quiet around this time, late August, with limited hockey chatter aside from sporadic discussions like ours. From your perspective, with your extensive experience observing the league, when should Maple Leaf fans start getting uneasy if Auston Matthews remains unsigned? Is the onset of training camp a point of concern? Or the season's kickoff? What's your take?

Well, many might expect me to say December 1st, but many would consider that outrageous. If he's not locked in by the season's start, it doesn't bode well for Matthews. Granted, there's still October and November. Yet, once we surpass American Thanksgiving, and gauge where the team stands, if Matthews has managed, say, 20 goals in the initial 25 matches, and by early December is on track for 50 or even 60 goals, negotiating his contract becomes increasingly tricky due to cap space limitations.

Biron gives an answer that is unique compared to others when asked about this topic. When other analysts have been asked the typical answer is if the deal isn't done by open night the panic should begin. Biron's timeline is more around American Thanksgiving in November.
If Matthews remains unsigned post-American Thanksgiving, that's when alarms should blare. If unresolved at the season's onset, it's troubling, but by December 1st? That's full-on panic mode for me

While Biron acknowledges getting a deal done before the season would be better the real panic should set in around November. He then goes on to say that December 1st is full panic mode.

The William Nylander Situation

When asked about Matthews and his contract situation Biron also commented on William Nylander and what he thinks should happen there.
Honestly, retaining the same core team this season might not be wise. I'd argue that William Nylander should have been let go to free up funds for reinvestment elsewhere.

The opinion shared by Biron is one that has been expressed by other analysts in the past. At the moment Nylander is still a Leaf and contract talks are still happening. However, if both Matthews and Nylander enter the season without contracts the likelihood of one of them moving on to a new team increases.
The Leafs have said on a few occasions that Matthews is the priority. This could lead Nylander out the door and a revision of the Maple Leafs' core heading into the 2024-25 season.
As Read On - TSN - Martin Biron on what Rick Jeanneret meant to the Sabres, the Leafs goaltending situation & the outlook for Devon Levi
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TSN Analyst Reveals Panic Date For Maple Leafs And Auston Matthews

Will Auston Matthews sign an extension before American Thanksgiving?

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