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Matthews: 'My intention is to be here,' eyes extension this summer

Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews - Getty Images

Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews said Monday he sees his long-term future with the team, adding he'd like to sign an extension before next season.

Matthews, a two-time Rocket Richard winner, will be eligible to sign an extension as of July 1, when he officially enters the last of the five-year, $58.195 million deal he signed in 2019.

“My intention is to be here … I really do enjoy playing here. It’s a true honour,” Matthews said while speaking at the team's season-ending media availability. 

After leading the NHL goals in each of the previous two years, Matthews finished with 40 goals and 85 points in 74 games this season. He had 60 goals in 73 games during the 2021-22 season.

He added five goals and 11 points in 11 playoff games as the Maple Leafs won their first playoff round since 2004, defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games. Toronto was eliminated from the second round of the postseason last week in Game 5 against the Florida Panthers.

Selected first overall in the 2016 draft by Toronto, Matthews has 299 goals and 542 points in 481 career games. 

Carrying a cap hit of $11.64 million, Matthews was the NHL's third-highest paid player this season. He is currently set to sit fourth on the list next season, as Nathan MacKinnon takes over the league's highest cap hit at $12.6 million, $100,000 more than Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid.

Nylander hopes to stay with Leafs

Also set to enter the final year of his current contract, William Nylander expressed his desire to stay with the Maple Leafs on Monday.

"I love it here. I don't want to be anywhere else," Nylander said.

The sentiment was echoed by all members of the team's core, with captain John Tavares and winger Mitch Marner - both signed for two more seasons - also expressing their hopes to stay in Toronto.

The 27-year-old Nylander is coming off a career year, posting 40 goals and 87 points in 82 games this season. He added four goals and 10 points in 11 playoff games.

Nylander carries a cap hit of $6.96 million on the six-year, $45 million deal he signed in 2018 after a contract negotiation that stretched into the 2018-19 season.