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Is Auston Matthews The Next Face Of The NHL?

from Emily Kaplan of ESPN,

It's clear he's trying to exercise his voice in small increments. That's the tricky part about celebrity -- in order to develop a voice, you have to be expected to have one. You have to want it, as much as anything else. Matthews will be a star, but the question is whether he'll fit the NHL's mold or develop into something of his own making. He is 20, and it's a choice he himself has to make. As the scrum unfolds, Matthews is asked a question that will chase him through his career: How does he want to be a role model for Hispanic children?

Standing away from his teammates with his arms crossed, Matthews rocks his weight from his left leg to his right. "Oh yeah," he says, pausing a moment.

"I'd like to -- I think -- in the future be someone kids can look up to."

much more on Matthews...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: auston+matthews

Comments

Red Winger's avatar

Mathews is the best player in the NHL as of now

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 10/16/17 at 11:31 AM ET

Temo's avatar

What about McDavid?

Posted by Temo from La Capital, Míchígán on 10/16/17 at 11:48 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

As of now, Mathews is better. McDavid and the entire Oilers squad is in turmoil right now

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 10/16/17 at 11:50 AM ET

duhduhduh's avatar

Maybe you should start with the question: Why doesn’t Matthews wear the ‘C’

He clearly is the best player and leader of that team, and I don’t really think the pressure of being captain would phase him.

Posted by duhduhduh on 10/16/17 at 12:04 PM ET

HaHasek's avatar

It’s going to be interesting to see how this develops - he certainly will be the face of the Leafs, but in Le Le Land they are bigger than the NHL. Is there going to be room enough for him to be the face of that team and the face of the NHL?

Posted by HaHasek on 10/16/17 at 12:29 PM ET

duhduhduh's avatar

in Le Le Land they are bigger than the NHL.

Speaking of Le Le land.  Did anyone catch HNIC piece about Babcock commenting before the Leafs/Habs that if anyone thinks Weber is old and washed up, they’ll “take ‘im”, to which a sports writer asked, is Babcock tampering.  Not only are they bigger than the NHL world, they are crazier by a landslide.

Posted by duhduhduh on 10/16/17 at 12:40 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

Well, since American TV would rather stab itself in the groin than televise a game involving a Canadian team, there’s no way Matthews (or McDavid) will ever be the face of the league. At least not here in Upper Mexico.

Posted by Steeb on 10/16/17 at 01:02 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

I think Matthews and McDavid are pretty close.  I would give the nod to McDavid now as he pass as well as shoot.  Both are fun to watch. Goalies seem mesmerized by Matthews shot, amazing!

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 10/16/17 at 01:22 PM ET

Primis's avatar

It’s going to be interesting to see how this develops - he certainly will be the face of the Leafs, but in Le Le Land they are bigger than the NHL. Is there going to be room enough for him to be the face of that team and the face of the NHL?

Posted by HaHasek on 10/16/17 at 12:29 PM ET

Not quite the exact same feelings, but I agree with it to an extent.  Matthews being TOR ultimately hurts his marketability, and the TOR media will then do their damage as well.

Posted by Primis on 10/16/17 at 01:26 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

If he plays well and answers stupid questions like this respectfully, he’ll be one of Canada’s favorite players.  But if he stumbles, they will crucify him. 

Thus is the cycle of the Canadian, especially Toronto, media.

Posted by TreKronor on 10/16/17 at 02:04 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

So the Canadian media and the New York City media are basically the same monster

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 10/16/17 at 02:25 PM ET

Avatar

“As the scrum unfolds, Matthews is asked a question that will chase him through his career: How does he want to be a role model for Hispanic children?”

I was baffled enough to click the link…I’d had no idea of Mathews’ specific
ethic or family heritage. The more people who are interested and want to play
and can play, the better. One of the best things about the NHL has long been
that it’s a league based on global pool of talent. 

But is ESPN really hunting for identity angles to this extent in every story?

Why does everyone have to be put in categories and be the representative or this
or that group?

It’ll only be the question that “will chase Mathews through his career” because sports writers
like Emily Kaplan apparently find group identity so essential to every situation.

Posted by Lefty30 on 10/16/17 at 08:27 PM ET

Avatar

NBC Sports would definitely prefer a player from an American market to put out their as the face of the NHL. But as the torch is passed from Crosby to the next face, they may not have a choice. If Matthews and McDavid are the premiere talents, NBC will have to change their focus.

BTW, for every dollar Matthews loses in endorsements by being in a Canadian market he easily makes up for it by being in the Toronto market, the driving force of hockey in Canada.

Posted by evileye on 10/17/17 at 09:24 AM ET

Avatar

I would like him to write a position piece on how he will change his behavior to be a role model for Hispanic children, black children and white children. Included in it, I would like a complete explanation on why the differences would be necessary.

Posted by SlimChance on 10/17/17 at 11:13 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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