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Auston Matthews’ Maple Leafs status, Jonathan Toews’ trade value: Duhatschek’s mailbag

Welcome to the September issue of Reader’s Mailbag. Training camps for the 2022 season are about to begin. Let’s begin.

(Note: The questions asked have been edited for clarity and length.)

What do you think is the worst major contract signing this offseason? Nazem Kadri/JT Miller/Jonathan Huberdeau/Ondrej Palat worry me about the deadline as they are all over 30 years old. Tage Thompson/Josh Norris seem like a lot of money for their short resumes. Kris Letang or Evgeni Malkin could probably be the worst, but I don’t think the Penguins care how they age. They’re milking every last bit of that kernel window for all it’s worth. – Matthew W.

It’s actually a pretty nuanced question because it goes against the conventional wisdom of what are the worst aging contracts, which usually involve 30-year-olds signing for five to eight years and starting to slip on their skates when they can. for the last season. The reality is that giving a younger player long-term dollars based on little promise can be even more risky.

So your example of Tage Thompson. Full credit for his breakthrough 38-goal, 68-point season with the Buffalo Sabers last year as a 24-year-old. Sometimes it takes a little longer for the big man (6-foot-5) to find his NHL stride.