World Cup will be Learning Experience for Matthews: Leafs’ Babcock
The first competitive game Auston Matthews will play in at the Air Canada Centre since signing with the Maple Leafs won’t be in Toronto blue and white.
And that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, according to Mike Babcock.
Less than two months after agreeing to a contract with general manager Lou Lamoriello, Matthews will step onto the ice of his new hockey home on Sept. 18 as a member of Team North America, the World Cup of Hockey squad that will open up against Finland on that Sunday afternoon.
It’s not the prototypical way that a first-round draft pick introduces himself to his new home fans. The plot will deliciously spice up even more, too, if Team North America makes it out of its preliminary round bracket and faces Team Canada — a side coached by Babcock, Matthews’ bench boss with the Leafs.