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Entries with the tag: auston matthews

Auston Matthews In Contention For The Hart Trophy

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

There isn’t much point in wading too deep into the MVP debate with three months left in the regular season, but Matthews is clearly among a group of serious challengers that includes Nathan MacKinnon, Connor McDavid, David Pastrnak and Jack Eichel, among others.

He now trails Pastrnak by one goal in the race for the Rocket Richard Trophy and is on pace for a 56-goal, 98-point season — both of which would put him in rarified air in Leafs history.

What made his performance so special against Winnipeg is that he’s currently playing through a minor undisclosed injury, according to a source, which is why he left Tuesday afternoon’s practice after 10 minutes. So it was at something less than 100 per cent where he skated for a career-high 25:41 while generating eight of his team’s 28 shots on goal, and 13 attempts overall.

You are starting to see Matthews exert his will in all three zones, too, forcing a Jack Roslovic turnover at centre moments before his first goal Wednesday. He has taken his scoring rate from great to ridiculous in Year 4 — hitting the 30-goal mark with that snipe in the first period of his 45th game after doing it in Games 48, 57 and 61 the previous three seasons.

more

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An ‘Ordinary’ Looking Auston Matthews

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

There is an inherent pressure that goes along with signing a giant contract in any sport. Some players need time to adjust. Some players feel the pressure. You sign the big deal and instantly expectations change. For the first time, really, in Auston Matthews’ time in Toronto, there is some wondering about who is he is and what he can become. There have been too many uninspired shifts this season, on Wednesday night, too many shifts where he’s barely noticeable. Late in the Avs game, Matthews finally got going. He had one good chance to score, set up another chance and was open in scoring position and not spotted by Morgan Rielly on another....

This is a difficult time for hockey in Toronto. The Leafs have made their coaching change. On Wednesday, they abandoned their goaltending rotation, mostly out of desperation, and Frederik Andersen was brilliant in defeat. This is a tense time for general manager Kyle Dubas. This is his team, Matthews is his No. 1 player.

And the player he has chosen to invest in most heavily mirrors his team, looking rather ordinary.

Looking nothing like a player who is supposed to move mountains.

more, the Leafs lost 3-1 to the Avs...

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Auston Matthews Says He Is Sorry For His Actions After Charges Against Him Were Dropped

from the CP at Sportsnet,

A charge of disorderly conduct and disruptive behaviour against Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews has been dismissed in his hometown of Scottsdale, Ariz.

Court records show the charge was dropped on Wednesday.

A spokesperson for the City of Scottsdale confirmed the parties reached a settlement.

"I just want to reiterate again just how sorry I am for my actions, my behaviour," Matthews said Friday.

continued

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Audio/Video- Brian Burke On Mitch Marner And Auston Matthews

via Sportsnet,

NHL analyst Brian Burke explains to Lead Off that Mitch Marner’s contract is definitely affecting his slow start this season, also says Auston Matthews needs to find more offensive consistency from game to game.

 

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Evening Line- Auston Matthews

After a 4-2 to the Boston Bruins.

"It’s just not good enough," said Auston Matthews. "We need to be better and I think it comes from the leadership group. I need to be better. All of us need to be better. We just need to look each other in the eye and hold each other accountable." A lack of discipline remains a big issue. "It’s just been the same thing kind of over and over for us."

-Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Matthews has more to say, watch at TSN.

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Is Leon Draisaitl A Better Overall Player Than Auston Matthews?

from David Staples of the Edmonton Journal,

This in from Craig Button, the former NHL GM and now a TSN hockey commentator, his take on Edmonton Oilers two-way ace Leon Draisaitl being a better player than Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Button was on TSN 1050 radio in Toronto with former NHLers Jamie McLennan and Jeff O’Neill.

“He’s a Top 5 player,” McLennan said of Draisaitl. “Other than him getting tired later in the game and extending his shifts and stuff — I think he extends his shifts, where he looks really tired — I think he’s as good as anybody.”

Then Button dropped the hammer: “I think the talk about Auston Matthews as being one of the best players in the league needs to stop. Because he’s not as good as Draisaitl. He’s not even close to Draisaitl right now. I know he’s a scorer but in terms of a complete player, not even in that category. He should never be in the conversation until he shows that he’s going to impact the game in the same way.”

continued

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  Tags: auston+matthews, leon+draisaitl

The Auston Matthews ‘Stunt’

from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,

Then there was the on-ice incident during the exhibition season in which Matthews ridiculed an obscure opponent by pretending to try to see the name on his jersey during an altercation. Minor stuff, yes — but can you imagine Jean Béliveau acting like that? Gordie Howe? Wayne Gretzky? Sidney Crosby? Never.

That Matthews stunt was pure Brad Marchand — but Marchand has always been an outlier, not a No. 1 draft pick and the face of a franchise, cheesy moustache and all. There is a pattern here: a pattern of entitlement and arrogance, of “I can get away with anything because I’m a big deal and you’re not.”

Of course, Matthews will get away with it, given most people will take his behaviour for boys-will-be-boys hijinks, even if the boy in this instance was a highly paid professional star. He’ll probably have to do no more than make an apology and at worst, he’ll do a little community service — some onerous task, like dropping in on a couple of schools to sign autographs and talk about how great he is.

more

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Video- Kyle Dubas Found Out About The Auston Matthews Incident A Day Ago

The incident happened in late May.

 

added 10:33pm, Longer video (4 minutes) is below.

added 10:49am, Watch Matthews below from tonight on why he did not tell the team.

Continue Reading »

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Disturbing The Peace Complaint Against Auston Matthews

added 6:38pm, from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews, believed by many to be the team’s next captain, faces disorderly conduct charges in Scottsdale, Ariz., after an incident last spring with a female security guard at 2 a.m., in which a group allegedly tried to get into her car and Matthews – walking away – dropped his pants.

The Star obtained a copy of the complaint – filed May 28 — from Scottsdale Police on Tuesday.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

continued

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Auston Matthews At The Top Of His Game

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

A year ago, Auston Matthews went into the playoffs saying he wanted to be like Jonathan Toews and Sidney Crosby. Forget about the regular season, he said. He wanted to be one of those players who make a difference — and a name for themselves — when the games really matter.

Then the Toronto Maple Leafs went out in the first round in a series in which Matthews was ineffective and underutilized, prompting head coach Mike Babcock to travel to Matthews’ home in Arizona in the off-season to smooth things over.

This year, don’t expect Babcock to book any flights out west anytime soon.

Matthews has a long ways to go before he enters the rarefied air of Toews or Crosby. But the 21-year-old is making a difference against the Boston Bruins. With four goals in this series — including the first goal in a 2-1 win in a pivotal Game 5 that gave Toronto a chance to advance to the second round on Sunday — he’s certainly making a name for himself as a big-game performer.

“I thought tonight, this was his best 200-foot game of the playoffs,” said Babcock. “I thought he played great. I was impressed with him and I was proud for him. He should feel good about himself.”

continued

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The Spotlight Is On Auston Matthews

from Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star,

The Maple Leafs’ first practice leading into the playoffs featured some positive signs in terms of the roster, but one moment stood out.

Auston Matthews and coach Mike Babcock met for what appeared to be an important conversation. Neither would reveal what was said, but it’s obvious that the star centre is in line for a major role when Toronto’s first-round series opens Thursday night in Boston.

“Do you really think I’m gonna tell you?” Matthews said, smiling, when asked about the discussion with Babcock.

Matthews is a different player than he was a year ago, when the Bruins knocked out the Leafs in seven games, and it has given Babcock the confidence to use him against the opposition’s best. While the coach has not divulged who will match up against Boston’s big line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, he certainly won’t hesitate to send Matthews, Andreas Johnsson and Kasperi Kapanen into that assignment.

While Matthews is first and foremost a driving force offensively, it’s his evolution into a two-way player — something the coaching staff has worked on with him this season — that could be a tipping point in the series.

continued

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Afternoon Line- Rick Tocchet

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The Auston Matthews Deal

from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,

The Matthews deal, and the one for Marner to follow, will have some impact around the league, particularly in that “second contract” market — kids who are transitioning out of the their entry level deals. That market began shifting dramatically in recent years, as Bruins fans witnessed in September 2017 when David Pastrnak shook $40 million/six years out of the Jacobs family room couch with his second deal.

Outside the Toronto market, the Matthews deal won’t have 21- and 22-year-olds raising their hands for $11 million, but that ceiling, however temporary, will have a way of justifying and lifting the floor. Which is to say Pastrnak’s $6.666 million payout, and Nylander’s at $6.92 million, will become the baseline in negotiations for truly gifted kids. All of a sudden $8 million a year looks like a comfortable fit for a GM with a hot shot on the rise. In Calgary, Johnny Gaudreau’s $6.75 million cap hit through 2021-22 is looking like a steal for the Flames.

Had Matthews hit the market as a restricted free agent, any of the league’s other 30 teams, including the Coyotes, could have offered him a max deal (seven years at just under $16 million a year). Viewed through that lens, the Leafs escaped with a comfortable savings.

more and other hockey topics too...

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Auston Matthews Signs A Five-Year Contract Extension

via the Toronto Maple Leafs,

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the club has agreed to terms with forward Auston Matthews on a five-year contract extension. The average annual value of the contract is $11.634 million.

Matthews, 21, has appeared in 38 games for the Maple Leafs this season and registered 23 goals and 23 assists for 46 points. 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. In 182 career NHL regular season games, he has recorded 178 points (97 goals, 81 assists), while registering seven points (5 goals, 2 assists) in 13 career Stanley Cup playoff games. In 2016-17, Matthews captured the Calder Trophy as the NHL's Rookie of the Year and was named to the NHL's All-Rookie Team after establishing Maple Leaf rookie records for goals (40) and points (69) in a season, which led all NHL rookies in both categories. In his NHL debut on October 12, 2016 at Ottawa, he set a new NHL record for goals scored in an NHL debut with four. The Scottsdale, Arizona native has also represented Toronto at the NHL All-Star Game in three consecutive seasons (2016, 2017, 2018).

added 1:41pm,

SB=signing bonus

 

added 1:43pm, Toronto's cap scenario is below.

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Contract Talks Progressing For Auston Matthews

from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,

Toronto’s coming salary-cap crunch has always figured to be difficult to navigate. In the hard-ceilinged world of the NHL, every contender eventually finds itself in the same kind of overcrowded boat, and it’s never long before perfectly good players are being thrown over the side as a matter of simple survival. So if pending restricted free agents Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner took Nylander’s lead and decided to get militant in their approach to negotiations — well, that’d make for rough sailing aboard the S.S. Shanaplan.

The sudden talk of a shorter term is favourable for the team in one way; fewer years come with a smaller annual average salary-cap hit, which is important for a team that’s going to be up against the cap for many years to come. And if five-year deals were good enough for the likes of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane when they were emerging from their entry-level contracts — winning their first of three Stanley Cups under the terms of rookie-scale deals in 2010 — surely they’ll work for Matthews.

Still, let’s not kid ourselves, in an ideal world the Leafs would clearly prefer an eight-year pact. Having Matthews under contract until he’s 29 would lock him up for his prime.

more

Below, watch Chris Johnston of Sportsnet on the talks...

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Video- Auston Matthews Made Sure Patrick Marleau Was In San Jose Last Night

With a tribute to Patrick Marleau.

 

 

Marleau's wife appreciated the gesture.

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Auston Matthews Could Be The Highest Paid Player In The NHL Next Season

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

This isn’t a debate on who is the best player in the world, but rather a reflection of what the salary cap was two years ago ($77 million US) when McDavid signed and what it’s projected to be ($83.5-million) when Matthews’ entry-level contract expires next year.

That’s a $6.5-million increase. And you can bet it’s something that will reflect in what Matthews ends up getting.

When McDavid signed an eight-year deal worth $100-million, the annual average of $12.5-million was 16.7% of the total salary cap. If Matthews wants that same percentage, his annual salary will be $13.9-million. And for those suggesting that Matthews would take less for the “good of the team,” consider that McDavid’s original deal was reportedly $13.25-million (17.2%) — so Matthews could make even more if he wanted.

Still don’t think Matthews is worth McDavid money? Well, take a look at their numbers.

read on plus other hockey notes which should draw the interest of hockey fans...

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Video- Auston Matthews Out At Least Four Weeks

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today Auston Matthews is expected to be out a minimum of four weeks with a shoulder injury.

He will go on IR today.

If you missed how the injury occurred, watch below.

added 12:52pm, Matthews talked with the media today, watch below.

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GIF- Auston Matthews Left The Game After A Hit

No update at this point.

 

 

added 8:59pm, vide version is below...

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Auston Matthews On Fire

from Mike Zeisberger of NHL.com,

Auston Matthews' sizzling start to the 2018-19 season with the Toronto Maple Leafs has put him in the elite company of Hockey Hall of Fame forwards Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Mike Bossy.

Matthews had two assists in a 4-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings at Scotiabank Arena on Monday, extending his multipoint streak to seven games. The Maple Leafs center joins Lemieux and forward Kevin Stevens (Pittsburgh Penguins, 1992-93), Bossy (New York Islanders, 1984-85) and Gretzky (Edmonton Oilers, 1983-84) as players who started a season with seven consecutive multipoint games.

"I don't know what it is. I'm just trying to play hockey, have fun, get those opportunities and try to cash in on them," said Matthews, whose six-game goal streak ended. "I've been fortunate they've been going in; we've been able to gel as a line and continue to get better and obviously the most important thing is we're winning games, so we just want that to continue."

continued

Catch the game highlights below.

Continue Reading »

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Video- Auston Matthews Fears A Coconut And Egg

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All Auston Matthews

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

Will it bother you if people start referring to John Tavares as the No. 1 centre?

You guys can label us however you want.

What did you learn about yourself and the team in the playoffs last year?

It was a tough series. You learn a lot. The first year (against Washington), I don’t think anyone expected us even to win a game or to get there, and we did. The following year (against Boston), much higher expectations. But it shows how hard it is to not only win one round but to make it to the Stanley Cup finals. It’s not easy. We definitely want to put ourselves in a position to be back in the playoffs this year.

Is there something about Babcock you’d change if you could?

I don’t think I want to answer that question.

more

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Morning Line- Auston Matthews

I definitely think I can be better in a lot of areas. I worked a lot this summer on just straight-ahead speed, my stride mechanics. I worked with Barb (Underhill) a little bit when I was here during the summer and just kind of dialed in on that stuff and just the little things (like) creating separation on the ice. And working with Darryl is always fun, just because you work on so many different things that can translate into a game. So there’s tons of things that you can look back on and you want to improve on. For myself, like I want to have more assists than I have goals, and obviously that hasn’t been the case the last two years.

-Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Matthews did a Q & A with Jonas Siegel of The Athletic, so if a subscriber, there is much more.

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Video- Auston Matthews On A Few Topics

via TSN's YouTube page,

Auston Matthews discusses the addition of John Tavares and what he did to help persuade the centreman to pick Toronto. He also weighs in on the Leafs' captaincy and the meeting he had with Mike Babcock after the season.

 

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Battle Brewing In Toronto?

from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,

He had a mere six shifts in the second period, with a total of 4:05 in ice time. For one interlude of more than five minutes, Matthews didn’t come over the boards at all. Little wonder he failed to get a shot on net in that frame.

Granted, the Leafs were killing off a penalty during a patch of that spell, but it’s hard to reckon what Babcock was thinking because he certainly didn’t maximize his No. 1 centre’s talents. And still Matthews led the Leafs with four shots and twice as many chances.

Matthews did not look like a happy young man on the bench, though that’s a subjective interpretation of body language. We can’t lip-read words exchanged between them. Babcock’s shift of fluid faith to the Mitch Marner line was conspicuous, however. Understandably so as Marner displayed a kinetic ferocity throughout the series....

If there is any breach of faith between Babcock and Matthews, it must be mended. If Babcock “lost” Matthews, he damn well better find him again.

“No,” insisted Matthews, when the question was put to him bluntly on clean-out day at the Air Canada Centre. “Our relationship’s fine. Obviously you guys can speculate all you want. But to me, I think it’s pointless.”

more

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Video Auston Matthews Injury Update

Bob McKenzie reported Matthews will have an MRI today and it looks like a shoulder injury.

He is not at practice today.

Watch the injury below...

Continue Reading »

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Video- No Goal Auston Matthws

The Situation Room reversed the call.

Matthews did come back and score on his next shift.

 

 

added 8:51pm, Matthews reacts to his good goal, watch below...

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Video- Concussion Talk Surrounds Auston Matthews

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

Take Mike Babcock’s word that Auston Matthews is really on this three-game trip with the Maple Leafs.

But the head coach is not saying much else about the absent Matthews, his suspected head injury and when he might play again.

The leading scorer wasn’t available here Tuesday against the Flyers, the second game he’s missed after a collision with teammate Morgan Rielly on Saturday in Pittsburgh.

Babcock, the only coach in the organization allowed to talk about Matthews’ condition, danced around the sensitive topic Tuesday morning when asked if Matthews will make it back Thursday in Minnesota or Friday in Detroit.

“I think he’s playing (soon), he’s day-to-day,” Babcock began. “So I think he’s playing every day. Day-to-day is normally 10 days (often the case when the team medical staff overrules the coach’s enthusiasm for fast-tracking injuries), but we’ll go day-to-day.

continued

Below, watch Elliotte Friedman say no with a clip of the collision Matthews had...

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Video- He Is Auston Matthews

via Sportsnet,

Auston Matthews has captivated hockey fans since he took his first strides on NHL ice wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs sweater. (That four-goal debut helped, too.)

We know what he can do on the ice—his 40 goals and 29 assists earned him Rookie-of-the-Year honours and led the young Maple Leafs on a thrilling post-season run. But who is Auston Matthews?

In an exclusive documentary, Matthews gives Sportsnet a window into his life and a firsthand look at what it’s like to go from being a hockey-loving kid in the desert to one of the most important young superstars in one of the league’s most passionate markets. From Arizona to Toronto, Sportsnet follows Matthews’ unique path to the pros and speaks to those who have helped shape him as an athlete and a person.

Watch the 24 minute feature at Sportsnet or below...

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Video- Speculating On Auston Matthews’ Injury

the Hockey Central at Noon panel speculates on the injury to Auston Matthews.

He was a game-time decision and did play on Monday, but is out for tonight.

Leafs only saying upper-body.

 

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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...

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Video- Auston Matthews With The Overtime Winner

Leafs were down 3-1, but Auston Matthews wins it in OT. Fun game to watch.

 

 

TSN version is below...

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Should Auston Matthews Be Obliged To Talk American Politics?

from Gare Joyce of Sportsnet,

A week or so ago at Leafs’ practice, as training camp dragged on, reporters asked Auston Matthews about the news of the day — tapping into a raw desperation for news of any sort beyond line combinations and the last player sent down. On this day, the news originated a long way from Toronto but spread far and wide: NFL players were following the lead of the currently unemployed Colin Kaepernick and kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner” to protest the institutional oppression of African-Americans. U.S. President Donald Trump had made the protests a distraction du jour at yet another one of his fawn-fests, calling for the firing of “the sons of bitches” who disrespected the flag — at least the way he was playing it — and encouraging fans to abandon the NFL for not thwarting the protests. Yeah, Trump as usual, looking to hook his supporters with a trip to the race-bait shop.

Matthews did not have a prepared response. “I don’t think I’d be one of the people who would take part in that,” he said of kneeling during the anthem. He noted that the protest might be seen as “a dishonour” to members of the military who “fight for the flag” and he pointed out that he has an uncle and other friends and family members who are or were in the service. He also noted that he isn’t a “big politics guy.”

On first pass, you might suppose that he had bought into the Trump line, maybe not the full Richie Incognito but still MAGA-ish. But then Matthews showed his position might be more nuanced. He said that he understands athletes using a platform to “send a message.” And then: “Isn’t that one of the Amendments? You have the right to say what you want.”...

A year from now I don’t imagine that we’ll be going to Auston Matthews for hot takes on the news of the day. But the actualization of the young phenom will grow to encompass more than the stuff on the ice. It has to. So far he has exercised a freedom not to speak. It’s a dubious freedom when so many are there waiting and listening.

more

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Auston Matthews’ Summer

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

If there’s a sophomore jinx perched like a buzzard outside the Air Canada Centre, it must first overcome a rested, robust Matthews, who has had none of last summer’s distractions these past few months.

No world championships, draft hype or busy appearance schedule that had him crisscrossing two continents from March until late June. No NHL scouting combine or a World Cup in September, filming TV bits or time needed to get settled in Toronto.

After coming off the ice Friday with Mitch Marner, Zach Hyman, Connor Brown, Nikita Zaitsev and the rest of the young Leafs, Matthews underlined how a quiet summer could help, approaching main Leaf camp in less than two weeks.

“For sure,” he said. “It was nice not having so much stuff going on around you, being so hectic with the combine, the draft and everything. It was more relaxing. It was nice to spend a little more time training.”

Matthews is singing the praises of Pilates, a fitness system designed to alleviate back pain and improve balance. It's an ideal workout for a 6-foot-2, 200-plus pounder who feels the slings and arrows for 82 regular season games.

more

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More Matthews-vs-Laine talk

From TSN's Travis Yost:

The suddenly furious discussion around the Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews Calder Trophy race is a debate worth having, if only because what Laine has provided to his team offensively is remarkable.

As it stands today, only two players – Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin and Minnesota’s Jason Zucker – have been on the ice for more goals per-60 minutes than Laine. It’s a testament to his wondrous shooting capabilities and the chemistry he’s developed with his linemates.

So, yes, I think it’s a very real argument. As is the case with anything of the sort, you can slice and dice it a thousand different ways. Winnipeg fans will note that Laine plays for a weaker team. Toronto fans will note that Matthews is probably the better defensive player. And round and round we go.

The one piece I keep coming back to is the offence that comes with Laine. I’ve written in the past about my optimism over his individual shooting percentages – he strikes me as a Steven Stamkos or Ilya Kovalchuk type, which is tremendously high praise. It’s exceedingly rare for anyone to sustain high shooting percentages over long periods of time, and even if Laine isn’t a 19.5 per cent shooter, he’s got a real shot at 15 per cent or so, which would be phenomenal.

Continued

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The Auston Matthews And Patrik Laine Battles Are Just Starting

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

Let this be a reminder about why there’s so much hype when Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine are due to face one another.

It’s not so much a showdown between top picks from the 2016 draft, with personal stakes or a determination about who is ahead in some mythical race without a finish line.

No, it’s an event. Pure and simple.

These are two of the three best players in the NHL’s next generation and when you get them in the same arena the odds of seeing something magical dramatically improve.

“(They mean) a lot to the league, but maybe more to Canada,” Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice said before Tuesday’s 5-4 overtime loss against Toronto. “This is such a passion across the country and (there’s) appreciation for young players. For stars, for gifts, right?

“We’ve all been on the ice as players and we all know how much better Patty and Auston are than we are.”

continued

Watch the game highlights below...

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  Tags: auston+matthews, patrik+laine

Video- Auston Matthews Can Pass Too

Nice, teams better not leave him alone behind the net.

 

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Auston Matthews Plays A Home Game Tonight

from Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports,

Born in northern California, Matthews moved to the Valley as an infant and took in his first Coyotes game when he was 3 years old. He started playing two years later, dressing for the Jr. Coyotes and Bobcats before graduating to the U.S. National Team Development Program in Michigan and a professional league in Switzerland.

But Matthews will forever be linked to Arizona, a connection he’s eager to emphasize.

“That’s where I grew up playing hockey my whole life,” he said. “It’s where I live. It’s my home. So you always have a sense of pride.”

He started to generate buzz when he joined USA Hockey about three years ago, eventually being tabbed as the consensus 2016 top pick. Coyotes captain Shane Doan heard the chatter and invited Matthews to skate in the summer with NHLers at the Ice Den in Scottsdale.

The two have stayed in touch, making last week’s game against the Coyotes even more special for Matthews. And Doan, who has for decades been the most prominent face of hockey in the desert, has been impressed with the newest poster boy.

“It gives us credibility throughout the country,” Doan said. “The way he has handled it has probably been the most remarkable. It’s fun to see and exciting to see what he’s going to do. He’s just getting started.”

more

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Auston Matthews Or Patrik Laine?

from Gary Lawless of TSN,

So what does Matthews have over Laine? Is he a better skater? On the whole, yes. Matthews is also more physically mature and closer to his athletic peak. 

Laine’s upper body features pipe cleaners rather than pipes. His frame is unfinished. He’s skinny. His upside in terms of speed and power are difficult to ascertain, but he will improve and close the gap with Matthews.

Matthews has loads of game. He’s going to be a star. Laine, however, has more wattage despite playing in a small market in comparison to Toronto.

In the end, this will be about the highest of ranges. They’re two great players trying to climb into the rarest of air.

Matthews was No. 1 in the draft, but Laine will prove to be No. 1 in rarity.

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Video- Jonathan Toews And Auston Matthews Have Some Fun

Call your shot...

 

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If You Haven’t Noticed, Auston Matthews Is In A Slump

from the CP at Sportsnet,

To help Auston Matthews through the first offensive slowdown of his early NHL career, Mike Babcock has been employing video of Sidney Crosby and Henrik Zetterberg.

The Maple Leafs head coach has professed utmost confidence in Matthews throughout a November offensive slide, noting the difficulties of handling the centre-ice position as a first-year player. Matthews stormed out of the gate with six goals and 10 points in his first six games, including a historic four-goal outing in his NHL debut. He’s since slowed, at least production-wise, with no goals and only two assists in the past nine games.

The 19-year-old is still tied for second among all NHL rookies in scoring (12 points), four points behind the early leader Patrik Laine.

Babcock has observed subtle adjustments from Matthews over the past couple weeks, specifically the Arizona native’s dramatic improvement in the faceoff circle. Matthews went 43 per cent on the draw in the opening five games, 53 per cent in the following five and 61 per cent in the last five outings.

That was an indicator of rapid adjustment from a player who was just getting his bearings in hockey's most competitive league.

continued

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Auston Mathews/Connor McDavid Face-Off Tonight

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

The hype of Tuesday’s game at the Air Canada Centre — which can be branded ‘Lookin’ Out For No. 1’ — has been building for the past year.

First came Auston Matthews’ accidental birth date, placing him in a different draft class than Connor McDavid.

Then McDavid went to the Edmonton Oilers in the 2015 lottery, not his childhood Leafs team that was left holding runner-up numbers on either side of the winning combination. But McDavid broke his collarbone and was heartbroken to have missed his return to the GTA last Nov. 15....

“Connor versus Auston? I’d buy a ticket for that game,” said Oilers coach Todd McLellan, in the enviable position among peers to send both over the boards at the North American bench in September.

“If I’m a fan, I want to see this one. It’s the future of the league playing there. We have the luxury of seeing Connor every night, myself and (assistant) Jay Woodcroft. And the coaching staff at the World Cup saw them on the same team and the same line and that was a pretty fun week. I don’t think we’ll see that again because of their nationalities.”

read on

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  Tags: auston+matthews, connor+mcdavid

Keeping An Eye On Auston Matthews

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

“Absolutely, we’ve been very conscious of the people we keep around him,” Babcock said. “He’ll be surrounded by lots of people in his lifetime. He has to make good decisions. There are lots of people who will want to get to know him. But you have to decide who you are going to let into your immediate circle.

“Those people end up having an influence on you, who end up tightening you when you step out of line. It’s real important he makes good choices. But he’s a smart guy.”...

While Babcock won’t go into detail about who the Matthews mafia might be, 27-year-old winger Matt Martin is on one side of him in the practice rink dressing room, as well as on the road.

“I don’t know if that’s by design, but I obviously spend a lot of time with him,” Martin said. “He’s a good kid and I enjoy talking to him — other than when the media comes in.”

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Video- Auston Matthews’ Night

A very impressive debut.

 

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Video- Auston Matthews With His First NHL Goal & 2 & 3 & 4

Boom!

 

 

added 7:49pm, And goal #2 was even better, watch below...

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Auston Matthews Signs His Entry-Level Contract

added 1:35pm,

 

added 1:43pm,

 

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Still No Contract For Auston Matthews

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

Toronto Maple Leafs top draft pick Auston Matthews remained without a contract on Wednesday, the sticking point apparently over performance bonuses that GM Lou Lamoriello has historically avoided in his time as an NHL executive.

There is no reason to panic yet, with hockey still two months away.

But some find it a curious way to do to business for a team that has invested heavily in building through youth, and spent so much time selling the pain of losing to land a player of Matthews calibre.

“This one, to me, feels foolish,” an NHL source not involved in the talks told The Star. “I don’t know what Lou’s reward is if he wins for the amount of risk you take by going this direction.”

The Leafs not only risk alienating Matthews and his camp — souring future talks when Matthews will have more leverage — but they may be sending a negative message to players around the league about how the team treats stars, he said.

continued

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Welcome To Toronto Auston Matthews

from Kristen Shelton of TSN,

The media scrum tracking Auston Matthews at the first day of Toronto Maple Leafs Development Camp was so large, it had to be broken into two groups.

There were twice as many TV cameras there to film him (eight) as the actual number of on-ice drills he went through (four). For just 12 minutes.

And to the surprise of many Leaf fans on social media, Matthews is wearing No. 63 at this week’s development camp and not his usual No. 34, which was last worn by James Reimer.

Welcome to Toronto.

“This is the hockey Mecca of the world,” the 18-year old told reporters at the MasterCard Centre. “With that comes a lot of media and a lot of pressure and stuff like that, but it’s definitely something you want to embrace.”

continued

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The Leafs Have Their Center

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

Now he becomes the most important player to pull on a Leafs sweater in more than three decades.

The team will be mindful not to bill him as such, but after essentially punting on the 2015-16 season to set itself up for the chance to pick No. 1, it’s tough to conclude otherwise. Matthews is the organization’s first top draft choice since Wendel Clark in 1985 and stands to become the cornerstone piece of a long-overdue rebuild.

Scouts project him out as a high-end No. 1 centre – the Leafs haven’t had one of those since Mats Sundin – and some compared him to Joe Sakic during a draft year where he dominated the Swiss League while playing for the Zurich Lions.

That Matthews will enter the NHL as a player of high interest during its centennial season is only fitting. Roughly 25 years have passed since the league embarked on a sunbelt expansion strategy designed to attract new fans and players to the sport.

He instantly becomes a poster child for that movement.

more

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

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Video- With The First Pick In The 2016 NHL Draft….

...the Toronto Maple Leafs select Auston Matthews,

 

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