While the William Nylander contract stalemate continues, it sounds like the Leafs are quietly working toward locking up Auston Matthews to an extension.
Elliotte Friedman provided his latest intel during a Wednesday evening NHL Network appearance.
“I think they’re trying to keep them quiet, but I do think they’re really trying,” noted Friedman. “I think there have been some - I don’t know if I would say serious, or - I think there are some legitimate attempts on both sides to try to get something done.
“I do think Toronto is considering something in the five-year range for Matthews - that would buy one year of unrestricted free agency. I have to tell you guys, if I was in charge I’d be trying to get eight; but that number might be over 12 and I’m not sure Toronto thinks it wants to do all of that yet, so five would probably be a little bit less, which gives them some more cap room. Whatever the case, I do think both sides are seriously talking.
“I know there’s been a lot of talk about offer sheets - it’s my personal opinion it’s never going to get there, that they’re going to find a way to get this done - both sides - before that.
“I just think the bigger question is going to be term - is it going to be five years or eight years.”
Matthews is in the final season of his entry-level contract and has been eligible to sign an extension since July.
Contract-related info via CapFriendly