We’ve got a new rumbling to pass your way.
And with it, an emphatic refute.
Apparently, there’s a rumor going around that Auston Matthews, the consensus No. 1 overall pick at this June’s draft, could potentially re-sign with his current club — Zurich, of the Swiss League — if he’s not happy with the NHL club that wins the draft lottery.
What makes this rumor especially juicy?
Well, all seven Canadian teams will be in this year’s lottery, thereby increasing the odds that Matthews — an Arizona native, and the latest USA Hockey prodigy — lands north of the border.
Unlike Patrick Kane, who landed in Chicago.
Or Jack Eichel, who landed in Buffalo.
Insert foreboding music here.
To put this rumor to bed, though, here’s TSN Insider (and noted Canadian) Bob McKenzie:
Like most internet/Twitter rumours, there isn’t a shred of substance to it. But it has nevertheless created some angst amongst the fan bases of the seven Canadians teams.
The big centre from Scottsdale, Ariz., wants to play in the NHL next season, wants to be the No. 1 pick in the draft and isn’t going to jeopardize either of those for the sake of geography or appearing petulant.
Matthews’ agent Pat Brisson totally dismissed the rumour with a “really?” and a laugh.
“No truth,” Brisson said.
Matthews has long been tied to the Coyotes, who would no doubt love to market a franchise-type player that grew up in their back yard. But Arizona’s surprisingly solid campaign has diminished its chances of winning the No. 1 overall pick — per TSN, the Coyotes’ chances currently sit at just six percent.
As such, Coyotes GM Don Maloney and the rest of the hockey world will have to sit and wait on the next chapter of the Auston Matthews story — one that’s expected to occur this spring, when Matthews will reportedly be named to the U.S. team for the 2016 Worlds in Russia.