Former NHL pest, Sean Avery
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Ex-NHLer makes absurd remark about Auston Matthews and the Leafs' Stanley Cup aspirations

Published February 7, 2024 at 10:05
BY RYAN SMITHERAM

Last week, the always controversial Sean Avery was on the "Snipes and Stripes" podcast with Jeremy Roenick and everybody's favourite official, Tim Peel. The trio discussed a multitude of topics, from Avery's post-NHL life to the Vancouver Canucks and, of course, the Toronto Maple Leafs. In their discussion about the Leafs, they agreed that the Leafs are not built to go on a deep run and never will, with Avery mentioning one specific player as the reason.

Roenick asked if Auston Matthews deserved to be in the MVP conversation due to the season he is having, even though the Leafs have not been playing all that well. His question led to a very emphatic response from Avery that led him to say that he would have traded both Matthews and Mitch Marner for Connor Bedard.

"I mean, I guess you can give a guy the MVP, but like, shouldn't it be just somebody that if their team wins kind of thing? Kuch [Nikita Kucherov] has been doing it for five years in a row now. Right. Right. He wins Stanley Cups. Auston Matthews. Like, I guess. Yeah. You want to you want the trophy for the most valuable player during the regular season. Like you can have it. I don't know. Do we really f****** care who gets that trophy?.. Do I think William Nylander can turn into a Steve Yzerman? No. I think Willy has [more dog] in him that those other two guys (Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner)."

Tim Peel doubled-down on Avery's comments, noting how other stars in the league fight back and get pissed off when they get hit.


"When Kucherov gets run, he doesn't like it and he comes back and he whacks somebody and he gives it to them. MacKinnon does the same thing. When Matthews gets rocked he puts a smirk on his face and lets everybody else in... I don't think he has the jam to lead this team to the promise land."

Clearly, the consensus between the three is that the Leafs will not be winning a Stanley Cup as long as Matthews is the face of the franchise. What they are forgetting, however, is that many believed Alex Ovechkin would never win a Cup either because of his playing style, but he finally did so in the 30's. It took MacKinnon and the Avalanche nine years before they "did something" and the Oilers and Connor McDavid didn't make it past the second round until the seventh year of his career. So, while there are more than enough detractors of Matthews' leadership abilities and style of play, there is also lots of evidence to support the old adage that patience is a virtue. That's not to say that changes to the roster construction or even coaching staff aren't needed, but the Leafs do have the opportunity to win with Matthews leading the way.

POLL
February 7   |   666 answers
Ex-NHLer makes absurd remark about Auston Matthews and the Leafs' Stanley Cup aspirations

Do you agree with Avery that the Leafs will never win a Cup with Auston Matthews on the team?

Yes, Matthews is too soft14822.2 %
No, Avery still just likes to hear himself talk51877.8 %
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