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Entries with the tag: auston matthews

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.

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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...

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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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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.

more

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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.”

more

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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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Auston Matthews Finding His Comfort Zone

from Michael Traikos at the Toronto Sun,

The last time we checked, Auston Matthews was still 18 years old.

Judging by the Justin Bieber-inspired wardrobe he was wearing while lounging around his team’s hotel on Friday — tight-fitting pants with intentional rips in the thighs, a loose-fitting T-shirt and shockingly white sneakers — he looks it.

On the ice, however, it seems the American centre's age is ever-changing.

With each passing game here at the world hockey championship, Matthews has seemingly aged a year. He might have looked like a in-over-his-head teenager in a 5-1 loss to Canada in his tournament debut, but after scoring the only goals for the U.S. in a 2-1 overtime shootout win against the Czech Republic on Thursday, teammates were calling him a leader.

“I think it took him a little time to get comfortable in his own skin,” U.S. captain Matt Hendricks said Friday. “He’s playing around some NHL players and maybe he didn’t know that he needed to be The Man. Now he’s realizing that, Hey, I can take this game over. He definitely had an outstanding performance last night and I expect him to continue on and continue to get better and continue to get more confident.”

continued

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Auston Matthews Named To Team USA For The World Championship Games

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Forward Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.), who spent the 2015-16 campaign as a member of the Zurich Lions in the National League A, Switzerland's top professional league, has been named to the 2016 U.S. Men's National Team that will compete at the International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship May 6-22 in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia.

Matthews is the first player named to the team. Additional players, as well as the coaching and support staff, will be named in the coming weeks.

Last year, Matthews skated in an exhibition game with the U.S. Men's National Team prior to the 2015 IIHF Men's World Championship, becoming the first player to play at that level before entering their draft-eligible season.

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Saturday Headlines discuss the tug-of-war-room

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman and Damien Cox discussed the topics at hand at the GM's meetings in the second week of November (especially given the tug of war between coach's challenges and War Room decisions), Steven Stamkos' usage as a center, the courtship of Nikita Zaitsev by teams interested in the Russian prospect, the low attendance in Brooklyn thus far and news of Auston Matthews' back injury:

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  Tags: auston+matthews, new+york+islanders, steven+stamkos

Simmons on the Leafs’ unstoppable forces, the NHL’s not-so-quiet summer and Ilitch’s health

Among the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons' sports notes...

Lou Lamoriello is an autocrat. Although, a former NHL general manager referred to him the other day as a dictator. Mike Babcock is somewhat of an autocrat as a coach. It’s his way or the highway. Jacques Lemaire is about as rigid as they come. What’s going to be fascinating is how these men of large minds, large egos, and total belief in their own ways find a way to work together. The Leafs could be way more interesting off the ice than on it ...

I see where young Auston Matthews, likely first pick in the 2016 NHL entry draft, will be paid $400,000 to play in Zurich this season. That’s slightly more than the going rate for under the table money in the OHL ...

The NHL’s summer? Superstar Patrick Kane investigated; Ryan O’Reilly arrested; Slava Voynov off to jail; Jarret Stoll caught with cocaine; Mike Richards, first investigated, then had his contract voided; And the Canadian dollar just keeps on dropping. And how was your summer? ...

This will surprise some Leaf fans: Dave Nonis, the fired general manager, had three offers to join NHL teams before deciding to take a senior consultant’s job with the Anaheim Ducks. Among the teams interested in Nonis were the Montreal Canadiens ...

And this one, we're familiar with in Metro Detroit, because far, far more of a stretch than it's made out to be in the out-of-town circles:

Many who admire Mike Ilitch, owner of the Red Wings and Tigers, are concerned about his ability to properly operate his franchises. Ilitch is 86, not in the best health, and there is a lot of family interference around him these days. The Dombrowski firing seemed odd as did the quick hiring of Alex Avila to replace him.

Simmons continues and comments on the Patrick Kane situation...

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, auston+matthews, dave+nonis, detroit+red+wings, jacques+lemaire, jarret+stoll, lou+lamoriello, mike+babcock, mike+ilitch, mike+richards, patrick+kane, ryan+o'reilly, slava+voynov, toronto+maple+leafs

Auston Matthews Will Play For ZSC Lions This Season

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, European Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: auston+matthews

Auston Matthews Another Example Of Hockey’s Growth

from Damien Cox of Sportsnet,

Once again, there’s a seismic shift going on in the hockey world.

The last major one, you could argue, came in the late 1980s and early 1990s when European players started coming overseas in large numbers to play in the NHL, minor pro, U.S. colleges and in the Canadian Hockey League.

At around the same time, the seeds were being planted in the southwestern United States for a harvest that would take more than two decades to be realized, but is now coming into plain view for anyone paying attention.

The indicators are all around. Since 1992, the registration of hockey players in the Pacific, Rocky Mountain (Arizona, Colorado, Texas) and southeastern U.S. has increased by 240 per cent, more than half of that has come over the past 10 years.

In the same time period, there have been NHL teams added in Florida, Dallas, Phoenix, Denver, Anaheim, San Jose and Nashville, joining the Los Angeles Kings, whose acquisition of Wayne Gretzky in 1988 undoubtedly accelerated interest in the sport in virgin territories.

Not surprisingly, all these NHL teams and registered skaters have started to produce more and more elite players.

continued

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  Tags: auston+matthews

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