SAN HOSE – Austin Matthews is encouraged by the way talks with Toronto Maple Leafs are being conducted.
"The parties are talking and making progress, and that's great," the NHL Center for All Stars media reported on Thursday.
Matthews, in the final season of a three-year initial contract, may become a limited free agent on July 1, but Maple Leafs hope to sign a long-term contract long before. The 21-year-old has the right to sign with Toronto on July 1.
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Matthew's agent Jude Maldover said he and Maple Leafs General Manager Kyle Dubas will continue to negotiate. Dubai on Tuesday said talks on the treaty were productive.
"Austin is a bright child, a mature child," Maldover said. "He will not be distracted by this. He's very focused.
Matthew had 43 points (21 goals, 22 assists) in 35 games this season and 175 points (95 goals, 80 assists) in 179 NHL matches after being selected as No. 1 from Maple Leafs at NHL. Toronto (30-17-2), second in the Atlantic Division, made the Stanley Cup playoffs in each of Matthew's first two seasons.
"I feel happy to be in this situation (in Toronto)," Matthews said. "We have very good players, very good young players and we have a chance to be good for a long time."
Video: Matthew of All-Star Weekend, Marlo Relationship
As to whether signing a contract would remove a heavy burden from his shoulders, he said: "I mean, I would not say [it would be a] relief. I would say that this is just a step.
"It's not something I think a lot about me. When it's over, it's over. Until then I did not worry about it. I let my agent deal with Kyle and his management team. When my agent phoned me and told me I was ready to sign, I would sign … Until then I would focus on the Toronto Maple Leafs and [will] just live every day. "
One of Matthews's closest friends to Maple Leafs is ahead Mitchell Marnerwho is also in the last year of his contract at the initial level. Marner's agent Darren Ferris said he will not negotiate with Toronto until the season is over.
"Mitch and I do not talk much about it," Matthews said. "This is not something that comes up a lot. When we talk, it's not as much about hockey as it is about other things.
"It's a big distraction about the media, you know, Toronto and the way they play it all." I think in our minds we just want to play hockey and have fun and let our agents take care of it. in the same boat, when the agent tells him they are ready, they will move forward.
Besides, Matthews said, no negotiated process could be as complicated as the one he played in Switzerland for the 2015-16 season.
"It was like a summer break," he said. "I would probably say that the situation is more difficult than I am now.
Matthew wanted to join Zurich in Switzerland's biggest professional league of his year instead of taking advantage of a more general approach like playing college or the Canadian hockey league. The Swiss government had two conditions for this: It was 18 years old and finished high school.
Matthew turned 18 on September 17, 2015, and missed Zurich's first four games. Since that autumn he would have entered his senior year, he did not have enough time to take classes before the season, so he had to pass an equivalence test in high school.
"We had to go through a ton of steps," he said. – You do not know where you're going. It had to go through eight, nine hours of testing, and I'm not a big student.
"My little sister is in high school now. I look at my homework and look like Chinese. All the steps I have taken to make this happen are much more stressful than that.
Matthew said that with this test far behind him, he loved his time in Toronto.
"The city is great, fans are passionate about the team," he said. "In our team there are many young talents that they can be proud of."