Auston Matthews, Future San Jose Shark?

Credit: Mackenzie Hanson

As Auston Matthews approaches the end of his contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2024, a cloud of uncertainty hangs over his future with the team, prompting speculation about his potential departure next year. If he hits the open market, it begs the question: Could we see Matthews rock Sharks’ teal?

Let The Fun Begin

I’ll admit. This is crazy and probably not in the best interest of the Sharks at this point in time. But let’s have some fun…

Auston Matthews is a superstar known for his ability to score goals, and his exceptional skating, precise shot, and playmaking skills make him a dominant force on the ice. His acquisition could revitalize the Sharks’ offense and provide the team with a true game-changer, something they’ve been missing in recent years. However, the true likelihood of Matthews signing with the Sharks, or any other team for that matter, seems pretty low.

Would He Even Want to Leave Toronto?

One of the most important things to consider here with this crazy possibility is that come free agency, Matthews has the upper hand… choice. He gets to decide whether or not he even wants to leave Toronto, so that begs another question: Would he want to leave?
Matthews, Tkachuk Shake Hands After Round 2 Elimination (via Saltwire)

In Matthews’ entire career, he has only made it past the first round of the playoffs once. Then immediately eliminated in the second round… The Leafs’ struggle to find success, his desire to win a Cup, financial considerations, potential family motivations, and possible discord with management all factor into his decision. Matthews may want to seek a team with a better chance of securing a championship. Furthermore, the coaching situation, along with Matthews’ attachment to the team and city, will play a role in his choice to stay or explore new horizons. Until Matthews’ next move becomes clear, speculation will persist regarding his ongoing association with the Leafs.

Will He Find His Way to San Jose?

Honestly, Matthews would be the perfect complement to the young talent in San Jose, as well as to their remaining core of seasoned players. The Sharks are in a rebuild, and while they’re making strides, a player of Matthews’ caliber could significantly expedite their journey back to contender status.

However, there are challenges to consider. While Matthews would undoubtedly elevate the Sharks’ roster, some believe that he might not seamlessly fit the current team’s timeline. The Sharks are cultivating young prospects, and Matthews’ arrival might disrupt the planned development trajectory. On the other hand, his presence could potentially push these prospects to grow faster than anticipated, turning the team into contenders sooner than expected.

Play Like Weenie For Celebrini

San Jose would need several stars to align for this acquisition to happen. It’s a scenario that relies on multiple factors going their way, from winning the draft lottery and drafting Mack Celebrini to outstanding performances from emerging talents like Eklund, Smith, Musty, Thrun, Chrona, and more. While theoretically possible, it’s not the most probable outcome.
Will Smith and Quentin Musty (via NBC Sports Bay Area)

If Matthews becomes a free agent, there’s no doubt that many teams in the league will express interest in signing him. The Sharks, with their history of pursuing marquee players, should be among those considering making an offer. 

The team’s need for high-cost elite talent is evident, and Matthews perfectly fits the bill. With his age aligning well with the Sharks’ future cap structure, a long-term contract could prove advantageous.

The Future Awaits

While the Sharks can and should extend an offer to Matthews, there are no certainties in the hockey world. Will he leave Toronto? Will San Jose make an offer? Will Matthews accept? These questions remain unanswered. 

The possibility of this deal is still a year away, and though the Sharks may not be on the cusp of championship contention, improvements and flashes of brilliance from young players could create an enticing atmosphere.

While the potential of Auston Matthews joining the San Jose Sharks sparks excitement, there are numerous variables that will shape this narrative. The team’s pursuit of this star player could mark a return to their big-name hunting ways, but whether this pursuit culminates in success remains to be seen. The future holds the answers, and as fans await free agency, one thing is certain: the hockey world will be watching.

And who knows? Maybe Marleau and Thornton will be able to do some convincing to their former teammate…

Sam Chacon

Sam Chacon is a Target Analyst serving the U.S. Air Force, and an aspiring writer for Inside the Rink covering the San Jose Sharks, Vegas Golden Knights, and the Norfolk Admirals

15 thoughts on “Auston Matthews, Future San Jose Shark?

  1. I think that Shark Uniform suites hom better than a maple leafs does. He will eventually end up there?
    How soon, we will find out soon enough

  2. I think that Shark Uniform suites hom better than a maple leafs does. He will eventually end up there?
    How soon, we will find out soon enough.

      Some people just wish they could have OUR TORONTO HERO AUSTIN…
      These conspiracies are so far out in left field , next they will have Mathews playing for the NY Yankees 🤣

      1. Myself I don’t think he is not that much of a team player he only wants his personal rewards and can’t win you a cup big deal 4 years now and only made it past the first round one time and you will pay him 15 million dollars a year lots of bull shit from that cow moo moo Austin

  3. I laughed out loud when I read the part about “his desire to win a Cup” as one of the factors in his decision. Players who truly want to win make some sacrifices so management has the resources to build a champion. They don’t try to squeeze out every last penny, leaving little to sign other high caliber players. If winning a Cup was so important to him, he would’ve been signed already. The Leafs will NEVER win it all with him and Marner leading the way. Too much salary with too little leadership and production when it counts most. San Jose would be wise to avoid this overpriced prima donna.

      1. He has been great in the playoffs especially last season.. but I hear you he has to elavate however even if he does.. . Look at what McDavid did a couple years ago almost winning the playoffs scoring title despite not even making the Cup final.. so obviously my point is it takes a total team elavarion to win sports toughest trophy to e.

  4. I’m surprised and shocked and shocked and surprised! Somewhere warm, NHL should just put all NHL teams in hot climates. Keep Madonna’s and their wives happy. Learn you stupid NHL. Can’t figure it out cause your to dumb? Dumb NHL! Capital “s”capital “t”capital “u”capital “p”capital “I”capital “d”

  5. This is a dream journal of some guy who is dreaming he’s a hockey reporter and his beat is San Jose. I mean that is what this is right?

  6. Dude…if your target analysis skills are as bad as your hockey analysis skills, you may need to look into an MOS change. The key piece you’re missing here is that Matthews absolutely loves being the talk of the town. In Toronto…he is exactly that, so there’s no way he’d move to San Jose where he’d be lucky to be recognized by the 72 hockey fans they have, while the others who show up for the overpriced beer just yell “yay sports.” C’mon dude…think…

  7. What can San Jose offer is in return if it’s not a Kings ransom it’s laughable at best🤣. Can he score goals sure . Is he #2 behind McDavid as some think🚫He’s miles behind McDavid/Leon/McKinnon/That pest in Florida and on. Mathews desire to win is seriously questionable by his play and lack of determination/fire/commitment/desperation. Who knows maybe he finally grows a set👍 and plays like any of previously mentioned 🤟

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