Sportsnet: When asked by Pierre LeBrun how much he feels team success in the playoffs might be a factor or not next summer as the Toronto Maple Leafs are able to sign him to a contract next offseason, if things are tied together in his mind, Auston Matthews responds:
** NHLRumors.com transcription
“Ya, so, I figured, I appreciate the question, I’d like to be clear about the contract stuff, I’m going to touch on it today and I think that’s it. I understand why I’m being asked but at the same time, I’m focused on this season. I’m focused obviously on winning, and continuing to improve and help push this team over the edge.
As far as that goes, I’m just focused on this season and what’s to come and the future I see (??). When that time comes, we’ll deal with it, but I think I’ve been pretty clear. I’ve loved my time here. I really love playing in the city of Toronto. I think, I consider it home now. I’ve really enjoyed my time. My teammates have been incredible year after year. It’s nice to have the support the city brings. Obviously, we’re all working to bring that one ultimate goal.
So, I appreciate the question but I’m not going to be entertaining this question all year. I understand why you guys want to talk about it but at the same time, there’s nothing that can be done. I’m under contract for two more years. I can’t extend for another 10 months. I’ll just kind of leave it at that but I appreciate the question.”
Sportsnet: ** NHLRumors.com transcribing two Auston Matthews segments – on playing in Toronto and not focusing on his next contract.
“Just the city, the way the city kind of embraced the players, embraced myself, my family. I’ve just kind of grown comfortable in my own skin here and it’s not easy to do that at times but I just think it’s such a special place to play.
Just the guys I’ve been able to play with, that I’m still playing with today, from my first year in the league till now. I think you just build those relationships with people in the organization and your teammates.
And like I said, it’s just a special place to play. Obviously, a lot of history here and it’s a big honor to go out every night and wear the Maple Leaf on my chest.
So, it’s definitely something I don’t take for granted and I really appreciate, but like I said. It’s felt like home for a while and it’s just an awesome place to play and I’ve really enjoyed my time.
Chris Johnston asks Matthews about Nathan MacKinnon’s big contract extension and how much it impacts him as he’ll be a UFA in two years.
“I mean I’m not sure. I’m really happy for Nate. I’ve been lucky enough to play with him, get to know him, and he’s obviously a pretty incredible player.
So I think that contracts much deserved and as far as my situation, I’m not really too focused on that, it’s still a couple years away.”