TORONTO (AP) — Mike Babcock was at his daughter’s graduation when he received a text message from a friend about reports of a strained relationship with star center Auston Matthews.
“I’ll find out in the morning,” the Toronto coach replied. “I’ll meet him. I’ll ask him in the morning.”
As the Maple Leafs cleaned out their lockers Friday in the wake of a seven-game loss to the Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs, Babcock and Matthews addressed speculation the coach had “lost” his player during the series.
“I said, ‘What’s going on?'” Babcock told reporters of his conversation with Matthews. “It’s interesting in Toronto, you (media) do such a good job. You’re everywhere. You’re under the bench, you’re in the crack in the door, you’re in the car, you’re in the parking lot. You’re everywhere, and any time anybody does anything there’s a big story.