Leafs’ Matthews confirms his status for IIHF World Championships, addresses rift with Babcock

The young American superstar met with the media today to lay out his offseason plans and address reports that he and his head coach are “lost.”

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Toronto Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews met with the Toronto media this morning for the first time since Thursday night’s crushing Game 7 loss to the Boston Bruins. 

The 20 year old former 1st overall pick was almost a non-factor in the seven games series, scoring just one goal and two points. It’s been speculated that Matthews had been dealing with injuries throughout the series and the young forward confirmed as much today saying that he’s been suffering through, “nagging residual effects from injuries suffered throughout the year.”

Matthews said he wasn’t injured in the postseason, but as is usually the case he was dealing with nagging residual effects from injuries suffered throughout the year. Heading back to AZ next week for the offseason to start recuperating.

So, what does that mean for his status at the upcoming 2018 IIHF World Championships in Denmark next month?

Ouch… tough blow for USA Hockey. There’s no doubt that Matthews would have provided the team with a much needed offensive boost. 

Matthews also took time to address reports that he and head coach Mike Babcock had a falling out and that Babcock “lost him” during the playoffs, to use the words of Sportsnet analyst Nick Kypreos.

Auston Matthews said the reports that Mike Babcock “lost him” in the playoffs are totally untrue, wasn’t pleased when he heard that in the media. Said his relationship with Babcock is good, but media will speculate as they choose.

You see this, Leafs fans? This is why you can’t have nice things…

To be fair, these rumors seem to come back to Kypreos entirely, as no other NHL reporter has made mention of any sort of disagreement between the player and coach. Until it was addressed and dismissed by Matthews himself, it was total conjecture. Now, it’s been proven to be entirely false. 

Sleep easy, Leafs fans. Your two golden boys are still on the same page…

In other Leafs news, goaltender Frederik Andersen confirmed that he would like to represent his home country Denmark in the World Championships, especially considering that the small Northern European nation is playing host to the annual tournament. No official word yet on his status though, but expect something more formal this weekend.