Matthews anticipated to location Maple Leafs records after 50-design season

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  • April 2, 2022
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TORONTO — Mats Sundin has seen ample of Auston Matthews over time to make a proclamation in regards to the 24-year-veteran middle.

“He’s obtained a huge likelihood to eclipse various, if no longer most, of the most prominent offensive franchise records in Toronto Maple Leafs history when all is declared and performed,” Sundin talked about this week. “He’s obtained to discontinue healthy, for sure, and stick spherical with the Leafs for a truly long time. If that happens, I mean, lawful explore at the tempo he’s on. He’s doing it already.”

Sundin knows of what he speaks. He scored the most targets (420) and choices (987) in Toronto history, taking half in 981 games.

“He might spoil both of those,” Sundin talked about. “He’s already on his arrangement. Real explore what he’s been doing.”

Matthews turned the fourth Maple Leafs player with a 50-design season when he scored into an empty ranking at some level of a 7-3 home victory against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday. Rick Vaive (1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84), Gary Leeman (1989-90) and Dave Andreychuk (1992-93, 1993-94) also scored 50 for Toronto.

Matthews has scored 438 choices (249 targets, 189 assists) in 396 games, averaging 1.11 choices per game and .629 targets per game. At his fresh tempo, Matthews would change into the Toronto targets chief in 272 games, which tasks to early in the 2025-26 season. He would spoil Sundin’s choices document 496 games from now, somewhat of more than six seasons away.

“Cherish I talked about, he’d favor to discontinue in Toronto to achieve it. And why wouldn’t he?” Sundin talked about. “There is no longer this kind of thing as a greater space anywhere to play hockey, no space where they care more in regards to the team and the players, than Toronto.”

Video: WPG@TOR: Matthews rankings No. 50 into empty Jets ranking

Matthews is in the third season of a 5-year, $58.17 million contract ($11.634 million life like annual tag) he signed Feb. 5, 2019. He can change into an unrestricted free agent after the 2023-24 NHL season.

“In my gaze, he’s in the ideal problem,” Sundin talked about. “I’d no longer alternate Toronto’s group of forwards, with [Mitchell] Marner and John Tavares, William Nylander and the comfort, for anyone. 

“Alongside with your total basis gadgets there and your total property they contain got on the team relish Marner, the future is intellectual. And with him being so younger, the chance is there for him to spoil various the records.”

Doug Gilmour talked about he feels the identical arrangement. Gilmour, who location the Maple Leafs single-season document with 127 choices in 1992-93, talked about Matthews reminds him of Jaromir Jagr, who is 2d on the NHL choices listing (1,921) and fourth in targets (766).

“I agree with Mats. With the fashion the foundations are nowadays, there is no longer any limit to the records Auston and even Marner might spoil sooner or later alongside side mine,” Gilmour talked about Friday. “And the component about Auston is, or no longer it’s no longer lawful his shot. He’s this kind of mountainous physique (6-foot-3, 205 kilos) and he can defend the puck relish Jagr did. He can bull his arrangement to the ranking and there is nothing opponents can attain about it.”

Vaive, who location the Maple Leafs single-season document for targets (54) in 1981-82, talked about or no longer it’s miles a subject of time sooner than Matthews breaks that mark.

“The fashion he goes, he might attain it by next week,” Vaive talked about this week. “I mean, I became known for my shot and his is lawful as lethal. Then again it takes more than that. Opponents know it’s likely you’ll maybe very properly be going to shoot relish they did with me, so it’s likely you’ll maybe maybe like to understand straightforward systems to search out condo, to make condo to get it off. He’s prominent at that.

“The sky is the limit for him.”

Matthews, the No. 1 absorb the 2016 NHL Draft, has scored no longer lower than 34 targets in every of his six NHL seasons and is tied with Darryl Sittler for the most 40-design seasons in Maple Leafs history (four). Sittler, who scored the 2d most choices in Toronto history (916), understands Matthews likely will switch sooner than him in 40-design seasons as early as next season.

“The component that impresses me the most is that Auston has improved every season,” Sittler talked about Friday. “His effort on the backcheck and in the defensive zone is tangible. He lawful retains getting better and better.

“Now you gape, when protecting a lead, he’s accessible at the slay of the game. The vast players attain that. Sidney Crosby. Patrick Kane. Jonathan Toews in his high. And now Auston.

“Howdy, he might contain scored 50 in the outdated two seasons too if it wasn’t for the pandemic. The fashion this kid goes, the express is composed but to approach.”

Matthews scored 41 targets in 52 games final season and 47 targets in 70 games in 2019-20. He leads the NHL this season in 62 games.

Sittler talked about there is one obstacle Matthews must overcome to purchase your next step: a lack of Stanley Cup Playoff success. Toronto has lost all 5 of its playoff sequence with Matthews. 

The Maple Leafs, who play at the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, SNO, SNP, NBCSP, ESPN+, NHL LIVE), are one level in the relieve of the Tampa Bay Lightning for 2d space in the Atlantic Division.

“He’ll be judged on that lawful relish the rest of us had been,” Sittler talked about. “Gain some of that (playoff success) and he’ll be at one other diploma.”

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