Number one draft pick Auston Matthews remains unsigned by the Toronto Maple Leafs, despite the rigidity of an entry level contract. As reported by Toronto Star writer Kevin McGran, and touched on by us earlier, the signing delay may stem from Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello’s aversion to contract bonuses. Entry level contracts are fairly straightforward, with base salary capped at $925,000. The wiggle room comes in the form of performance bonuses.
The CBA allows for two types of ELC bonuses, creatively called Individual “A” and “B” bonuses. “A” Bonuses are capped at an aggregate total of $850K, and “B” bonuses are capped at an aggregate total of $2MM. Thus, a player could theoretically earn up to $3.77MM in base salary and bonuses.
For reference, the last two number one picks—Edmonton’s Connor McDavid and Florida’s Aaron Ekblad—received the max base salary and bonuses available. Patrik Laine, the number two pick this year, received a full base salary and $2.65MM in potential bonuses while the third pick Pierre-Luc Dubois received a full base salary and $2.5MM in potential bonuses.
Other notes around the league:
- The New York Islanders hope to sign John Tavares to an extension next summer, according to GM Garth Snow. The Islanders captain has two more years left on his deal that pays him $5.5MM a year. GM Snow would want to avoid the controversy and uncertainty that surrounded Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning this summer. Unless Tavares’s play declines significantly, the centerman is in line for a hefty raise.
- Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion spoke to the media today regarding signing Chris Kelly and other future transactions. Dorion is confident that the Sens will get a deal done with RFAs Cody Ceci and Mike Hoffman. Hoffman elected for salary arbitration—his second time in two years—while Ceci is not yet eligible. Dorion also intimated that the Senators will not pursue any more free agents, which corroborates the popular conception that the team operates under a restrictive internal budget.