In today’s News & Notes, Auston Matthews has signed a new contract, Alex Edler was taken off the ice in a stretcher and Oscar Klefbom has been activated off of the injured reserve.
Matthews Signs Contract Extension
Matthews has signed a five-year contract extension with the Toronto Maple Leafs worth $58.17 million. The deal carries an annual cap hit of $11.634 million and will last through the 2023-24 season.
The vast majority of this contract will be made up through signing bonuses as Bob McKenzie reported with $$54.5 million of the contract being paid through signing bonuses and only $3.65 million in salary.
In 38 games this season, Matthews has scored 23 goals and 46 points. He’s scoring at almost a point-per-game pace with 97 goals and 178 points in just 182 career games.
Had the deal been any longer than five years, it’s likely that the Maple Leafs would have had to spend more in terms of annual average value. This was a healthy medium for both sides, though Matthews likely comes out of this deal as the big winner while the Maple Leafs did what they could to try and keep this core together for the immediate future.
Edler out With Concussion
The Vancouver Canucks and their fans had a serious scared Monday night when Edler fell face-first onto the ice after getting tangle with Philadelphia Flyers’ forward Jakub Voracek, leading to the veteran blueliner to be taken out on a stretcher.
The injury occurred with 10:22 remaining in the third period of the game and Edler would be taken for X-rays to check for any possible facial fractures that he may have suffered. He would need stitches but fortunately did not suffer any fractures. He is expected to miss at least a week with a concussion, however.
“Any time a guy goes down you’re worried about him,” head coach Travis Green said.
This injury is a concerning one for the Canucks and it comes to one of their more crucial players. In 38 games this season, Edler has scored five goals and 20 points and has averaged 23:24 of ice time per game.
“It’s scary any time any player goes down like that,” said Edler’s teammate Brock Boeser. “I didn’t really see what happened. … I don’t know if he was knocked out at first, but to see a player not moving there at first, it’s scary. We all send our prayers his way.”
Klefbom Activated Off Injured Reserve
The Edmonton Oilers have activated Klefbom off of waivers. The 25-year-old defender has been sidelined since Dec. 11 with a hand injury but appears healthy and ready to return to action for the Oilers.
When Klefbom was injured, he was leading the Oilers’ defenders in points and also led the entire team in average time-on-ice with an impressive 25:25 of ice time.
His presence has been sorely missed and he’ll be a welcome addition to an Oilers’ team looking to move from near the bottom of the pack towards a postseason position. He’ll join the Oilers on Tuesday night when they host the Chicago Blackhawks.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for seven years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.