Hockey player? Nope. As Auston Matthews lounges on a couch in a Las Vegas hotel suite, the tattoo sleeve on his right arm exposed, he looks more like an NFL wide receiver or VIP nightclub bouncer or action-movie henchman. He’s listed at 6-foot-3 and 223 pounds on NHL.com, and the height looks right, but he has to be 235 pounds. He’s huge.
And why not? Without trying to kick the young man while he’s down: he’s had plenty of time to pump iron and crush protein shakes. It’s late June, and the last time he played a hockey game was two months prior, April 23, at Boston’s TD Garden. It was there that Matthews’ Toronto Maple Leafs carried out what has become an annual tradition: light it up in the regular season, generate considerable hope among the team’s rabid fan base, put up a spirited fight...
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