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Mike Matheson hasn’t met with Kent Hughes about a possible deal
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

There’s one element in particular that I really like about Mike Matheson, who grew up on Montreal’s West Island.

When he talks to reporters, you can feel how proud he is to play for the Canadiens.

He was a fan of the team when he was younger, and the pride of being able to play for the club he grew up with comes through loud and clear. And maybe that’s why he feels so good on the ice.

In an interview with the excellent Jean-François Chaumont, who now works for the NHL, Matheson confided that he went through hell when he was in Florida.

His performances didn’t go so well that he was even used as a forward by the Panthers organization at one point. All this greatly affected his morale, and we agree that this is normal.

However, he rediscovered his love of the game and his happiness in everyday life by playing for the Penguins, and his time in Pittsburgh allowed him to improve his overall game.

He’s improved to the point where he believes he’s playing the best hockey of his career right now:

Yes, I’m playing the best hockey of my career […] I’ve improved defensively, and I’m making better decisions with the puck too. I’d say my overall game is at its best since I started in the NHL. – Mike Matheson

Mike Matheson is now 29 years old.

He’s in his prime… And he’s right when he says he’s at the top of his game right now. It shows in his performances too, as he’s one of the NHL’s most productive defensemen this season (34 points in 49 games).

But Mike Matheson plays good hockey because he’s in a good place mentally. The pressure of the Montreal market doesn’t seem to affect him, and that also helps him perform well on the ice.

The defenseman also told Jean-François Chaumont that he hasn’t met with Kent Hughes about what’s in store for him next.

Matheson admits he’d like to stay in Montreal for the rest of his career… But he also knows that the NHL is a business and that he could be traded at some point.

I haven’t spoken with Kent about this possibility. I think the organization is happy with my game. But I also know that management sometimes has difficult decisions to make. – Mike Matheson

There’s congestion on the left side of the Habs’ blue line… And if we’re aware of the situation, Matheson is too.

It’s often said that Kent Hughes will have to make important choices, and that’s the case with Matheson. The GM may want to sacrifice him to make room for the youngsters… But at what price?

Will the Habs have the luxury of letting go of a guy who is proud to play in Montreal and who has performed very well since arriving in town? At least, if that’s the case…

His replacement will have some big shoes to fill.

In bursts

– Time is on its side.

Ouch !

– Wow.

– It’s normal!

– To be continued.

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