Connor McDavid discussed why Austin Matthews is his favorite player to watch, his first encounter with Sidney Crosby and Mario Lemieux, and the time he surprised even himself after scoring a goal on the latest episode of the “NHL @TheRink” podcast.
“I like watching Matthews,” McDavid, the Edmonton Oilers captain, told co-hosts Dan Rosen and Shawn P. Roarke. “He’s so creative with the puck. He scores goals in so many different ways. He’s fun to watch. [Mitchell] Marner there too. I just like watching the Leafs.”
McDavid said he spent part of his summer watching some of Matthews’ NHL-leading 60 goals from last season, marveling at his play around the net.
“I think a lot of people see his shot and assume he scores a ton from just shooting it, but he scores a ton of goals from just being around the net and having such good hands, and I think that’s probably an underrated thing from me. point of view,” McDavid said. “He’s such a special player.”
It was more than nine years ago that McDavid got a chance to meet Crosby and Lemieux at a Penguins game in Pittsburgh. McDavid was 16 years old at the time, playing for Erie of the Ontario Hockey League, and he called it a dream come true.
“We played an afternoon game in Erie, went down and watched the game in Pittsburgh,” McDavid said. “One of the billet dads knew Billy Guerin and we ended up getting in the [dressing] room. Pittsburgh was super good to me, brought me in and I got to meet Sid, Mario and a couple other guys. I grew up watching Sid, loving his game so it was extra special for me.”
Rosen and Roarke also sat down with NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and that interview is also part of the new episode.
Daly talked about the impact so many young players are making in the NHL and how their outgoing personalities have changed marketing strategies across the League. He also discussed what he is most looking forward to this season.
“I’m most excited because I fully expect we’ll have a normal year,” Daly said. “We’re going to be on a normal calendar. The COVID restrictions will only be really what is required locally, so pretty much gone. We’re going to have media in our [dressing] rooms again. So normality of the year is probably what I’m looking forward to most.”
Video: Bill Daly on Global Series, World Cup of Hockey
Rosen and Roarke also discussed the news of the day Zdeno Chara, PK Subban and Keith Yandle each announcing their retirement from the NHL on Tuesday. In addition, they discussed the Oilers and their Stanley Cup aspirations, Nick Suzuki being named the youngest captain in Montreal Canadiens history at the age of 23 and reasons why the Winnipeg Jets are going without a captain this season.
They finished the episode with a game of state your case, who will win the Stanley Cup first, the Seattle Kraken or Vegas Golden Knightsplaying off the question that NHL.com staff writer Tracey Myers and Editor-in-Chief Bill Price debated here.
The “NHL @TheRink” podcast is free and listeners can subscribe on all podcast platforms. It is also available on NHL.com/multimedia/podcasts and the NHL app.
Listen: New episode of NHL @TheRink