ESPN– The argument for this bold suggestion is threefold:
- Moving Matthews would free up the large amount of cap space required to keep him when his entry-level contract expires at the end of the 2018-19 season.
- It would help the team acquire the top-pair defenseman it needs far more urgently than a high-scoring forward.
- The return could be an Eric Lindros-like windfall of picks and prospects — including that top defenseman — if a bidding war were to erupt due to the gap between his perceived and actual value.
ESPN decided it was a good idea to run this special piece of dog shit on their site about the Toronto Maple Leafs trading generational talent Auston Matthews. Not only is this offensive to my eyes, I’m starting to smell the absolute dumpster fire that is this column through my screen. They must have published this just for the clicks because no self-respecting sports publication would take this seriously.
I mean this guy’s main arguments fall flat on their face if you have watched the Leafs the last month. Other than James Van Riemsdyk’s plethora of redirect goals in the blue paint, secondary scoring for the Leafs has been non-existent. Mitch Marner has 5 goals this year, William Nylander has 9, Kadri didn’t score once in the month of December, and has one goal since Nov. 30th. To suggest the Leafs have scoring depth, at the moment is preposterous.
With the struggles of Nylander and Marner to light the lamp, the Leafs have an opportunity to save on their looming contracts. The pair of high flying youngsters have regressed remarkably since last year (Marner: 19G 42A, Nylander: 22G 39A) and have put the Leafs in a potential cost saving offseason. This can leave cap room for the re-signing of Matthews and the addition of defensive depth.
Finally, the likelihood of the Leafs finding a team that has defensive depth they are willing to give up, AND draft picks that are worthwhile for the future is a dream. The team would A) need to tank their season to get rid of their top defenseman and B) at the same time be willing to part with a first-round pick in multiple years. That scenario doesn’t exist.
Auston Matthews is an unbelievable talent that is just starting to blossom into a complete two-way player. I’m not going to run down his stats because that is unnecessary. All you need to do is watch a Leaf game to see how dynamic and integral Matthews is to the success of this Franchise.
I don’t know who this reporter Rob Vollman is but he needs his Hockey reporting credentials revoked, and he needs to be deported immediately. Preferably to a place where the Internet doesn’t exist.