Auston Matthews is participating this week in his first development camp as a member of the Maple Leafs. Usually, it’s around this time that a first overall pick gets his entry level contract signed but as Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston writes, there’s a bit of a unique situation when it comes to getting this particular deal done.
Toronto GM Lou Lamoriello is strongly opposed to putting performances bonuses in contracts, refusing to include them in any of his deals with New Jersey. While Mitch Marner’s entry level deal does contain bonuses, they were already in the framework of contract talks when Lamoriello joined the Leafs last season so their inclusion were honored when the new GM took over the talks.
Players selected with the first overall pick typically receive the maximum amount of bonuses allowable: Schedule ‘A’ bonuses worth $850K which are set in the CBA and are tied to individual performance and $2MM in Schedule ‘B’ bonuses which are tied to league-wide performance standards.
While no one expects there to be much difficulty in terms of getting a deal done, it will certainly be interesting to see how much Lamoriello is willing to bend his own policy to get Matthews signed.
Other news and notes from the Atlantic Division:
- Ottawa winger Mike Hoffman is expected to file for arbitration on Tuesday, reports Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen. Last season, Hoffman led the Senators with 29 goals and recorded 59 points in 78 games. Hoffman went through the arbitration process last season and was awarded a $2MM salary, a considerable bargain given his production.
- Detroit made Matt Martin a frontloaded four year, $10MM offer early on in free agency, writes Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press. After he declined their offer to sign a four year, $10MM pact with Toronto, they quickly turned around and signed Steve Ott for one year and $800K. They’ll likely need to use those savings towards inking RFA’s Danny DeKeyser and Petr Mrazek, who are also strong candidates to file for arbitration tomorrow.
- The Panthers have lost four regular defensemen from last season via trades and free agency but Ryan Lambert of Puck Daddy suggests their new look blueline should at least equal, if not improve upon the play of their predecessors and that their offseason moves have them well positioned to contend for another division title next season.