According to a report by Bob McKenzie on NBC Sports, Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews might be the target of an offer sheet by the Arizona Coyotes.
In the NHL, offer sheets are rare. But, it's also rare to see such prominent restricted free agents potentially available in the summer and names like Mitch Marner, Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews become available in the same season. When you factor in the fact that some of the teams that have control over these contracts also have salary cap issues, it becomes a story to watch.
At least, if you ask Bob McKenzie of TSN and NBC Sports.
“Now, there’s all sorts of rumors out there. And one of the rumors – and I stress a rumor. If it was a report, if there was any evidence to back this up, I would say it. But he’s an Arizona boy. So there’s all sorts of speculation that the Arizona Coyotes would come in on a one-year max deal, $16 million a year that would make it difficult for the Toronto Maple Leafs to match.”
It would be something if Arizona decided to make a play for Matthews and just how interested Matthews would be in going “home” to Arizona.
What This Means
If Arizona comes out and makes a play for Matthews, this would be huge for hockey. It would show that a player of Matthews caliber isn't a guaranteed lock to stay in Toronto — a place many people call the center of the hockey universe — and it will show that a big-name talent is willing to go to a market like Arizona that isn't known for attracting superstars.
It would change the face of two franchises in one move and it would certainly set a snowball of changes in Toronto as the team will have lost their best player and need to adjust accordingly.