Auston Matthews agrees to five-year extension with Maple Leafs


Auston Matthews has signed a multi-year contract extension with the Maple Leafs, the team announced early this afternoon.

The 21-year-old star centre’s new deal will keep him in Toronto for the next five seasons and hold an average annual value of $11.634 million, a team release said.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have agreed to terms with forward Auston Matthews on a five-year contract extension.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have agreed to terms with forward Auston Matthews on a five-year contract extension.  (Kevin Sousa / GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO)

Matthews and GM Kyle Dubas will hold a press conference at 4 p.m.

The total value of the contract over its five-year life is a little more than $58 million (all terms US). Matthews will see just under $55 million of the total value of his contract paid out in bonuses, a similar blueprint to the way the Leafs structured John Tavares’ contract.

In fact, the Leafs have built several of their recent contracts with bonus structures. Tavares, for example, will be paid $14.9 million in bonus money on July 1. Other Leafs receiving bonus payments on that date include William Nylander ($8.3 million), Frederik Andersen ($3 million), Patrick Marleau ($3 million), Nikita Zaitsev ($3 million) and Nazem Kadri ($2 million).

The Leafs agreed to the deal with the current NHL cap at $79.5 million. Projections for next season are as high at $83 million, with increases expected in future years.

Matthews has 23 goals and 23 assists for 46 points in 38 games for Toronto this season, some of which he was sidelined by a shoulder injury. He skated in 62 regular-season games for the Maple Leafs in 2017-18 and registered 63 points (34 goals, 29 assists) while adding a goal and an assist in seven Stanley Cup playoff games.

Leafs coach Mike Babcock, speaking before the official announcement by the team, felt having Matthews wrapped up on an extension was promising news.

“It would be significant for the franchise,” Babcock said. “Those guys are all gonna be signed (Matthews and Mitch Marner). They’re smart guys and they want to be here for a long time and they want to win for a long time.

“In order to do that, it’s pretty simple, you have to do the math … we have to work with them and that’s what (Dubas) and his group are doing with their people, so that its best for (the players) and best for us.”

Marner is also slated to become a restricted free agent this summer but has been wanting to hold off on any contract talks until the end of the season.

More to come …


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Maple Syrup: Your Most Pressing Questions, Answered


Do you only break out the maple syrup for pancake Sundays? Then you’re missing out on the full potential of this liquid gold. A natural sweetener with depth and complexity, maple syrup goes with way more than breakfast. Here we present a collection of tips, techniques, and trivia that will help you pick out a bottle and use it for all it’s worth. (And if you, like us, were ever wondering why so many bottles have a seemingly useless, teeny tiny handle, well—read on to know why.)

How do I pick the right syrup?

We strongly recommend 100 percent maple syrup. Syrup has a terroir, just like wine, coffee, and chocolate. Not only do the two sugar maple cultivars produce different-tasting syrup, but the syrup is dependent on the air, water, and soil, varying greatly region to region and season to season. Taste syrups from different regions to find out what you like best.

Why is it so pricey?

Syrup is so expensive because it takes 40 gallons (!) of sap to make one gallon of syrup. Sugaring season runs for just about two months, from early February to late March, in a very small region of the world, predominantly in the Northeastern United States and Canada, which means the supply is limited. But don’t worry: Bottles are available year-round.

Where should I keep it?

To protect against fermentation and molding, keep open bottles in the fridge for up to a year. For indefinite storage, stow syrup in the freezer (it’s too sugary to solidify).


Photo by Winnie Au

Flights of maple syrup.

What do all the grades mean?

Formerly divided into grades A, B, and C, the bottles at the store today are all Grade A, with USDA descriptors that clearly spell out the hue and intensity. Confused? Just remember: Darker syrup means bolder flavor. Here’s a breakdown.

Golden color, delicate taste: Fruity and subtle, it’s easily overshadowed but makes the best substitute for white sugar when baking.

Amber color, rich taste: Popular for all-around use, it’s the ideal table syrup for pancakes and French toast.

Dark color, robust taste: Bold in flavor, it holds its own in savory dishes like braises and in whiskey cocktails.

Very dark color, strong taste: With the most powerful maple flavor, it delivers the biggest bang for your buck—use sparingly!

Uh, what’s pancake syrup?

Pancake syrup is corn syrup with artificial flavor and color, whereas maple syrup is 100 percent boiled maple sap with 33 to 35 percent water.

Can I replace sugar with maple syrup?

To substitute maple syrup for sugar in a recipe, follow these rules from Baking with Less Sugar by Joanne Chang. In general, one cup of syrup is equal to one cup of sugar. But decrease the amount of liquid by 3 Tbsp. for each cup of syrup used. If baking, reduce your oven temp by 25° to prevent burning (since syrup caramelizes faster than sugar). Unless your recipe already calls for an acidic ingredient like buttermilk or sour cream, add 1⁄2 tsp. baking soda with the syrup. And experiment at your own risk!

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Photo by Alex Lau, food styling by Chris Morocco, prop styling by Emily Eisen

Maple syrup makes a good marinade for anything from chicken to tofu.

Is it only for drizzling?

Nope! Try adding a touch of maple syrup to savory foods; its earthy caramel flavor complements bitter, spicy, and salty notes. We like adding it to barbecue sauce, sautéed bitter greens, squash soup, marinades, and mustard vinaigrette.

What else can I do with it?

Make a crunchy maple topping for yogurt or oatmeal: Toss 1 cup toasted seeds or nuts + 3 Tbsp. maple syrup + 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350° for 15–20 minutes. Let cool, then break into pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

glazed carrots 1

Photo by Chelsie Craig, Food Styling by Dana Bonagura

These guys are Maple-Roasted Carrots.

Any other ideas?

Dress up any roasted vegetable with an easy maple glaze: Whisk together 2 Tbsp. each maple syrup, unseasoned rice vinegar, and soy sauce, and 1⁄2 tsp. red pepper flakes. Season with salt. Drizzle over vegetables and toss to coat in the last 5–10 minutes of roasting.

Use it to sweeten switchel, a refreshing drink made with apple cider vinegar and fresh ginger.

Or use maple syrup to add a glaze-y shellac to pork chops, salmon, bacon, chicken, tofu, carrots, or brussels sprouts.

hidden springs maple syrup

Photo by Chelsea Kyle

To have on hand at all times.

Do you have a favorite brand?

Hidden Springs Amber Rich Organic Maple Syrup, with its toasty flavor, is our favorite for everyday use.

Buy it: $8 for a half pint at

Okay, but what’s up with that little handle?

It harks back to times of yore, when syrup was collected in big earthenware vessels on which handles were critical. Today, it’s just a miniaturized sign to us consumers that what we’re getting is a real deal. This sort of design that contains just-for-show characteristics of the original is called a “skeuomorph.” (Use that on your next crossword!)


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City to rebuild Maple Leaf Pool – Regina


Sharp public outcry has turned the tide for the embattled Maple Leaf Pool.

On Tuesday night, Regina city council voted unanimously to replace the 72-year-old facility in the Heritage neighbourhood. It had been scheduled to close in 2019.

“We know that the people of this city want  that pool replaced, and replaced in a hurry,” Councillor Bob Hawkins emphatically remarked.

Councillors cited a slew of emails and phone calls supporting the ageing pool in addition to a weekend protest and more than a dozen delegates presenting at budget.

“There’s a lot of newcomers in our neighbourhood,” Heritage Community Association executive director Shayna Stock said. “About 20 per cent are First Nations or Metis, and it’s a mix of lower income families and working class families, so the pool is really a hub for the community.”

Regina residents protest closure of Maple Leaf Pool

“We changed our minds. We’ve changed the focus back to a local pool that’s critical- the centerpiece of a community. We understand, we agree,” Mayor Michael Fougere said.

Hawkins pushed to have a new pool open by 2020- though administration felt that was a little too ambitious.

“2020 we would start construction. 2019 we’d do design. You can’t move any quicker than that,” City manager Chris Holden said.

Administration will report back with funding options early in the new year, though council discussed financing through debt and increasing the mill rate at Tuesday’s meeting.

A proposal from Hawkins to pay for it through a .45 per cent mill rate increase was squashed after much debate.

Maple Leaf pool the focus of Regina’s budget debate

Council heard there is almost $17 million in debt dedicated to replacing Wascana Pool with a new water park by 2021. While Maple Leaf Pool will be a priority, the proposed destination outdoor aquatic facility is not off the table.

“It may be a modified one, but I don’t think we’re going to be talking about the end of the destination (aquatic facility),”Fougere added. “I think we’re talking about moving forward on both projects.”

While details on construction and a price tag may be hazy, it appears the Maple Leaf Pool has a new lease on life.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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William Nylander signs 6-year extension with Maple Leafs at deadline


William Nylander’s contract impasse has finally come to an end.

The restricted free agent signed a six-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, just before the 5 p.m. ET deadline. The Leafs announced that the extension will pay Nylander an average of $6.9 million US per year from the second to sixth years and $10.2 million this season.

The agreement brings an end to nearly five months of negotiations between first-year general manager Kyle Dubas and Nylander’s representatives, agent Lewis Gross and his father Michael, who played for seven NHL teams and was traded five times in his career.

« I need to look out for myself and make the decisions me and my agent believe are the correct ones, » Nylander told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet in early October. « I need to think long-term. It’s my future we’re talking about here. »

Forward Mike Peca was the most recent player to sit out an entire season due to a contract dispute, missing the 2000-01 campaign with the Buffalo Sabres at age 26.

As the Nylander signing deadline approached, it’s believed the Maple Leafs were willing to let it pass rather than meet the player’s reported demand of a long-term deal with an annual average value in the $8 million range.

Dubas, whose offer was said to be around $6 million, seemed to have the leverage in talks, given the team’s impressive 18-8-0 record this season and the emergence of 22-year-old winger Kasperi Kapanen, the former fourth-liner who replaced Nylander on the right side on a line with Auston Matthews earlier this season.

Nylander’s arrival after sitting out 26 games may or may not mean the end of Kapanen’s time skating alongside Matthews, who returned to the lineup on Wednesday after sitting over a month with an injured left shoulder. Kapanen and Nylander have been best friends and roommates since joining the Toronto Marlies, the Leafs’ American Hockey League affiliate, during the 2015-16 season.

Several players step up

« Everyone wants Willie to be here, » Kapanen told reporters in October. « He’s a big part of the team. He brings a lot of energy and a lot of offence to our team. »

In recent weeks, Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock has watched as others have stepped up to fill the scoring void – namely Nazem Kadri, Patrick Marleau and Andreas Johansson – after John Tavares, Morgan Rielly, Mitch Marner and Matthews handled the bulk of scoring early on.

Dubas stated weeks ago he wasn’t worried about getting Nylander signed and insisted he wasn’t shopping the talented Swede to any of the league’s other 30 teams. However, he did have assistant GMs Brandon Pridham and Laurence Gilman in tow during the team’s recent road trip through Raleigh, N.C., where the Hurricanes had been linked to Nylander trade rumours.

Nylander is coming off back-to-back 61-point seasons. In 185 NHL regular-season games, he was scored 48 goals and 135 points. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Kadri, who has scored 32 goals in each of the last two seasons, had to wait until the eve of training camp in September 2013 before signing his two-year, $5.8-million bridge deal on the heels of an 18-goal, 44-point performance in the lockout-shortened campaign.

« It’s a little bit stressful, » Kadri, who inked a six-year, $27-million extension in April 2016, told Sportsnet in September. « It’s not the easiest thing to go through. [Nylander] is a great player, he’s a great teammate and we love to have him around. »

Hometown discount?

Nylander has 48 goals and 135 points in 185 NHL regular-season games. During the stalemate, his on-ice contributions were often compared to Winnipeg’s Nik Ehlers ($6 million AAV) and fellow forward David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins ($6.7 million).

Ehlers scored 60 points in his age-21 season and signed for seven years and $42 million while Pastrnak, who played with Nylander as teenagers in Sweden, recorded 80 points at 21.

In early October, Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said the team’s young players should consider accepting less money to provide the best chance for the franchise to win its first Stanley Cup since 1967.

Matthews and Marner are pending RFAs but Dubas has made it clear they, along with Nylander, would spend the prime years of their NHL career in Toronto, no matter the term of their contracts.

Many expect Matthews to command a salary similar to Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid’s $12.5 million AAV while Marner, the Leafs’ top point-getter this season with 36 in 26 games, may ask for something in the range of Jack Eichel’s $10 million AAV as the Sabres standout has 32 points in 27 contests.


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These Maple Syrup Glazed Carrots Are Always on Our Holiday Menu


It all started with Barbie. Not the plastic one, but Andy Baraghani’s cousin’s girlfriend who none of us know. Though in a way, all of us know her: the brave Thanksgiving newcomer. Over two decades ago, Barbie showed up to Christmas dinner with these shimmering, syrupy sweet, roasted-to-smithereens carrots that entranced the Baraghani family. And while some loves fade, others only strengthen. Which is why after the breakup, Barbie’s carrots remained on the Christmas menu. A part of the family.

“Honestly she did sort of look like a Barbie. I was a closeted six-year-old and I was obsessed with her,” Andy told me. “Plus, that was the year the Barbie girl song came out.” That’s all the historical context you need, folks.

Here’s the recipe context you need: The carrots got tossed with cold pats of butter, heaps of sugar, drowned in maple syrup, and then they steam in the oven for HOURS. When served, the carrots would fall apart. In some ways this was good, for family members with sensitive teeth, but in other ways it wasn’t perfect: the carrots would never take on that thick, glazy, caramel sauce.

So when Andy was telling us about this dish, we knew he had to develop it for Bon Appétit, to honor Barbie, wherever she is now. This wasn’t the time to go full Andy—adding nuts, chiles, fistfuls of herbs, various zests—but he could make the recipe technically better, and more balanced in flavor. Ultimately, it needed to be a simple roasted carrot dish, unapologetically sweet, primally satisfying. The kind of Thanksgiving side that sticks around longer than some relationships.

Andy’s recipe goes like this: Scrub some carrots, trim their hats, chop them into cool asymmetrical chunks or leave them artfully whole, but DEFINITELY leave them unpeeled (purely aesthetic decision). Toss them in a foil-lined baking sheet with brown sugar, maple syrup, butter, and red pepper—that little bit of heat helps tone down the extreme sweetness. Instead of a long, slow roast, bake them at 400° for around an hour—tossing every 20 minutes. Tossing the carrots in the sugar-butter mixture will give them that glazed sheen that makes them irresistible. A sprinkling of flaky salt adds a bit of crunch and an Andy touch. If only Barbie knew.

Get the recipe:



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Inmate escapes from Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge near Maple Creek, Sask.


Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) says Joely Lambourn has escaped the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge near Maple Creek, Sask.

CSC first posted about the escape on its Facebook page at around 3 p.m. CST and confirmed the escape shortly thereafter to CBC News.

Staff at the lodge discovered Lambourn was unaccounted for during a count at 12:25 p.m., according to a news release.

 RCMP were notified and a warrant is now out for her arrest. 

Lambourn is described as 45 years old, 5’2″ and around 130 lbs. She is fair with brown eyes and brown hair. She is currently serving a sentence of two years, six months and 17 days for dangerous driving causing death and being unlawfully at large. Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

The lodge was in the news recently when controversy erupted after convicted child-killer Terri-Lynne McClintic was transferred to the facility. McClintic was recently transferred to a women’s prison in Edmonton.


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Pumpkin Bread with Maple Butter Recipe


Whisk eggs, pumpkin purée, ginger, and 1½ cups sugar in a large bowl. Stream in oil, whisking constantly until mixture is homogeneous. Gently fold half of dry ingredients into egg mixture until no dry spots remain. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients, stirring to combine but being careful not to overmix.


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Protesters in Maple Creek, Sask., ‘infuriated’ by transfer of Tori Stafford’s killer to healing lodge


Penny Steinkey had planned to travel to Calgary to see her grandchildren for Thanksgiving. Instead, she said she’ll spend her weekend at home in Maple Creek, Sask., protesting on behalf of another child — Tori Stafford.

« Because Tori doesn’t have that — I can give up a weekend for her, » she said of the eight-year-old, brutally raped and murdered in 2009.  

Steinkey was outraged when she heard that Stafford’s killer, Terri-Lynne McClintic, had been transferred to Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge on Nekaneet First Nation, located about 30 kilometres southeast of Maple Creek.

She and her friend Karri Williams have spent the past week walking along Maple Creek’s main street to protest McClintic’s transfer, and she says she’ll continue to protest until she is heard.

‘She’s not ready for that place’

« This woman, in my opinion, should be serving her time behind bars, not earning her way out of society after nine years of being in prison for murdering, raping and torturing an eight-year-old girl, » Steinkey said.

« I’m concerned about everybody that lives anywhere near this woman, every person that works out there, every inmate that’s out there, » she said, adding she also worries for the safety of the children of female inmates who may visit the healing lodge.

McClintic is currently serving a life sentence for her role in Tori’s death, and is not eligible for parole until 2031. In December, she was transferred to the healing lodge run by Correctional Services Canada.

Tori Stafford was eight years old when she was abducted and killed. (Dave Chidley/Canadian Press)

Williams said she was « infuriated » when she learned McClintic had been living at the lodge for nine months, without anyone in the area being notified.

« You don’t send a murderer, what she’s done, to a place of healing. She’s not ready for that place, that’s for sure. »

Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge does important work for its inmates, say protesters, but they believe that Terri-Lynne McClintick has not done the work to be transferred to the healing lodge. (Correction Services Canada website)

Both women said they respect the rehabilitation work taking place at the healing lodge. They see the inmates from time to time, raking leaves or picking up garbage in Maple Creek, and describe them as part of the community.

They shipped her off to the farthest, most remote place they could find. And they don’t give a damn about us that live here.– Penny Steinkey, Maple Creek resident

« We love the healing lodge, » said Steinkey. « We all believe in it. But they have to work to get here. »

Williams and Steinkey said they have tried to contact Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale about their concerns, but have only received a form letter in response.

However, they say they are working with their Conservative MP and their neighbours at Nekaneet First Nation, who share their concerns about transfer.

« They shipped her off to the farthest, most remote place they could find, » said Steinkey.

« And they don’t give a damn about us that live here. »

Transfer sets off political clash

McClintic’s transfer has sparked heated debate and insults in the House of Commons.

The Opposition Conservatives have demanded the government reverse the decision, while Prime Minister Justin Trudeau decried the Conservatives as « ambulance-chasing politicians, » and said his government respects the independence of the judicial system.

In response to questions on Friday, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said he takes public concerns « very, very seriously, » which is why he’s asked Corrections Canada to review its policies and procedures leading to the transfer.  

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, right, has ordered the commissioner of Correctional Service of Canada to review a decision to send convicted killer Terri-Lynne McClintic, left, to an Indigenous healing lodge. (Canadian Press photos)

« This is not just a recent set of decisions. The decision-making flow goes back to 2014, » he said.

The review is meant to ensure public safety and that justice is carried out in all cases, not just in this particular instance, said Goodale.

He acknowledged the concerns expressed by the chief of Nekaneet First Nation, who said the band was « shocked » by the transfer. Chief Alvin Francis said that six years ago, his people lost any say over which prisoners were sent to the minimum-security lodge on its land.

« Where Indigenous values are engaged, then there needs to be ample consultation and advice and an ongoing role, » Goodale said, adding he expected this to be addressed in the review.


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