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Year One of the Matthews Era

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On the anniversary of his signing, what Matthews means to the franchise.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Washington Capitals at Toronto Maple Leafs Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

It was one year ago today that Auston Matthews signed his entry-level contract, and officially went onto Toronto’s roster. Some people (including me) worried that Lou Lamoriello was going to try to haggle AM34 out of max bonuses, according to Lou’s style in New Jersey, but this turned out to be a non-issue. The deal got done.

Well, you know what happened next. Auston Matthews showed himself to be a star centre in his very first season in Toronto. He ran away with the Calder Trophy. He was second in the NHL in goals, behind a scrub named Sidney Crosby. He was fourth in the league in jersey sales, trailing only Crosby, Patrick Kane, and Jonathan Toews. But those are just facts and figures.

Matthews led the most exciting Leafs team I have had the privilege of watching. He’s a scoring chance machine, and he gives you that electric anything-can-happen feeling when he steps on the ice—something this team really only had from Phil Kessel in recent years. We have a franchise player now. Goddamn.

So in between cursing how damn hot it is in Toronto today and wondering if we’ll get an afternoon rainstorm for the 38th consecutive day, let’s acknowledge we got to see the beginning of something pretty incredible this year.

Was this just an excuse to post the four goals video again?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Go Leafs Go.

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