NHL News: Matthews on schedule for opening night; Kraken sign Donato; and McDavid says Oilers out of excuses
On August 14, the Maple Leafs announced Matthews had wrist surgery and that the operation was a success. However; the timetable on his return is six weeks. With the regular season set to begin Oct. 12, Matthews appears to be on schedule to play.
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NHL: Matthews wrist doing well
“I’m feeling good,” Matthews told Tim and Friends. “I’ve got a couple more weeks until I get back to it. I’m shooting for the home-opener, the first game of the year. Hopefully fingers crossed, everything goes well and I’ll be ready by game one.”
Matthews scored 41 goals in 52 games last season to capture the Maurice Richard Trophy (NHL goal leader). His 12 game-winning goals also were a league high, and he tied for fifth with 66 points.
In five NHL seasons, all with Toronto, Matthews has scored at least 34 goals each campaign, topped by 47 in 2019-20.
NHL: Kraken sign Ryan Donato
It’s rare to see a 25 year-old UFA on the market but that’s what happened when the Sharks opted to not give him a qualifying offer.
Last season, Donato scored 20 points in 50 games last season and the expansion Seattle Kraken opted to give hi a one-year deal worth $750,000.
“Ryan’s hockey sense and ability to contribute on the scoresheet are two ingredients we are excited to add to our forward group,” Kraken GM Ron Francis said in a statement. “We like his offensive potential and believe he can add scoring depth.”
This is a great opportunity for Donato to show he belongs in the NHL and live up to his potential. He was drafted in the 2nd round, 56th overall in 2014.
NHL: McDavid says no more excuses
It was another big season for Edmonton Oilers superstar, Connor McDavid. The 24 year-old won the Hart Trophy becoming the fifth player to win it multiple times before his 25th birthday, joining Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Gordie Howe and Alex Ovechkin.
He also won the Ted Lindsay award on two previous occasions (2016-17, 2017-18) and is the second straight Oilers player to receive the honor (Leon Draisaitl).
McDavid secured his third Art Ross Trophy after leading the league with 105 points (33 goals, 72 assists) in just 56 games — 21 more points than his nearest competitor, Oilers teammate Leon Draisaitl.
Yet, the Stanley Cup still eludes him and the Oilers.
“The old excuse that we’re young guys is no longer,” McDavid said via NHL.com. “For us as a group, I think the time is now to start really pushing this thing.”
The Oilers made some big additions this summer including a trade for 3X Cup Champion defenseman Duncan Keith and gritty forward Zach Hyman.
“I like the moves, and I think [GM Ken Holland] and the management team did a great job,” he said. “Now it’s on the players and the coaching staff to put it together. We have high expectations for ourselves and we’ve been building something here for the last couple of years, and it’s time to put it all together.”