Auston Matthews predicted to leave the Maple Leafs for US based team

Josh tupper
July 20, 2022  (2:32 PM)

John Tavares was one of the first players in the salary cap era to make the decision to leave the only team he'd ever known and return home. He was soon after followed by Johnny Gaudreau and apparently Matthew Tkachuk in the not so distant future.

Now it appears that many American players are looking to make the exodus from Canadian markets, returning home to the United States. With both Gaudreau and Tkachuk making that decision there are many who believe that Auston Matthews will be next to return home.
Eric Francis of Sportsnet joined the local Toronto Sportsnet Fan 590 and shared the following information.
There's no way the Maple Leafs are trading for Matthew Tkachuk. Right? He doesn't want to play in Toronto or in Canada, right? Or are the Maple Leafs, maybe the exception?

Eric Francis: They might be the exception because him and Auston Matthews are good buds, right? I mean, they go back quite a way so that maybe the exception.

But you want me to pour cold water on one rumor, but I'm gonna throw another one out there. That might heat up your discussion later today. Auston Matthews is going to be in this exact same position as Matthew Tkachuk next summer guys. I know nobody wants to think about it.

Nobody wants to talk about it, but I'd be willing to bet you guys a sizeable amount of money. Auston Matthews is not re-signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He's going stateside like Johnny Gaudreau, like Matthew Tkachuk, like other guys around the league and I may be wrong on this because I'm not tight with Auston Matthews but I see the he's very similar in general and Tkachuk, to me and he's going to want to go down to the States.

Warmer weather closer to friends, no more border. The COVID border issue was a big issue with a lot of players. I think he's got a lot of go where there's more exposure where you can make a bigger impact on the game as an American.

And don't forget guys after next season, he goes into his final year with a no movement clause. No trade clause. So the Leafs are going to probably want to find out before next season starts if Matthews is interested in signing a long-term extension and if he's not the Leafs, may be an exact same position as the Calgary players right now.

Now the Leafs because they're so damn good and so, damn close and so many people's eyes. They may be willing to play the final year of Auston Matthews' contract with him, you know, clearly walking to free agency and getting nothing for them. They may be willing to do that, but that's going to be huge discussion on your airwaves for a long, long time.

Whether or not the Maple Leafs believe they can retain Auston Matthews there should definitely be some concern for Kyle Dubas and company.
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