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Lightning Round: Auston Matthews signs highest AAV in NHL

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Auston Matthews announced his four-year contract extension with the Toronto Maple Leafs beginning after next season on Twitter. He’ll be making $13.25 million per year starting in 2024-25 and currently will be the highest cap hit in the NHL. That said, he definitely could’ve gotten more from the Leafs, let alone on the open market. That, along with his statement, says he took less to win.

That’s the first step, says Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

A fellow first overall pick, Alexis Lafreniere, signed with the New York Rangers for two years at a very cheap bridge deal. This is a contract that screams trade. The Rangers are stuck in a position where they need to be competitive and win, but don’t have time to develop Lafreniere up the lineup.

This makes me wish there was a loan system in the NHL, where players with contract rights can be loaned to other clubs for better opportunities. Imagine loaning Connor Bedard for a season while Chicago tanks one more time? How much would that even cost?

The Lightning signed Austin Watson to a PTO. Watson, 31, was suspended for 18 games for domestic violence charges in 2019. He had 123 penalty minutes for Ottawa last season.

Former Crunch/Solar Bears goalie, Jack LaFontaine has signed with Seattle’s organization.

The NHL is going international again (finally)! They plan to host allow players to play in Winter Olympics and World Cup of Hockey tournaments bi-annually starting in 2025. WCoH in 2025, then Olympics in Italy in 2026, then another WC in 2028, then the 2030 Olympics, and so on. It feels good to have a working union.

Two bucs checking out the Bucs.

Vroom vroom!

In case you missed this story from Kevin Hayes about his late brother, Jimmy.

One more PTO.

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