When news broke last that the Toronto Maple Leafs signed star forward Auston Matthews to a new contract extension, some fans of the Florida Panthers smiled.
Although it might be better for the Panthers in the long run had Matthews departed what is a stacked Atlantic Division, the Leafs were not going to let that happen.
At least not anytime soon.
Matthews, who is entering the final season of a five-year deal, agreed to a four-year contract extension with Toronto which will have an annual cap hit of $13.25 million.
This season, Matthews will make $11.64 million which ranks as the fourth-highest deal in the league; his new contract would rank tops in the NHL this coming season eclipsing Nathan MacKinnon ($12.6 million), Connor MacDavid ($12.5) and Artemi Panarin ($11.64).
Regardless, it is a good deal for Toronto as Matthews is one of the top players in the entire league and deserves to be paid as such.
Now, one might be wondering: Why would the Panthers care what the Toronto Maple Leafs are paying their best player?
Just look at the deals Florida has made lately.
Not only have the Panthers locked up some of their top players to reasonable deals — but it has more players it needs to take care of like Sam Reinhart, Brandon Montour, Gus Forsling and Anton Lundell.