Thursday, September 22, 2016

Matthews’ best-on-best arrival reminiscent of Lindros in 1991

World Cup Hockey Matthews aùsto reason to be in the spotlight for all the big ones is what he did not do: to fit in a regular season NHL game.

That will come soon enough.

Point-a-game through two World Cup games, as a player, even to go to the net hard with his goal against Russia on Monday night that he will give a fella a tap-ins Connor MCDAVID finish line.

It gives you a little bit, but in 1991 made an even bigger jump than Eric Lindros Matthews. When the man-child of eight points in the original Hockey Canada Cup in Canada in 1991, No.1 pick of the Quebec Nordiques in the Memorial Cup on the heels of the leader of the Oshawa Generals was just after a few months.

"It is a great honor to represent your country at this stage," says Lindros, who will be honored with induction to the Hockey Hall of Fame in November. "I have great wins in this situation ... there is so much more high-end guys to hang out with a better learning environment."

There was no category after U23. Big E on the merits of the big team, head coach Mike Keenan before his team was whittled to 50-man training camp that two separate groups of Canada's best players from the morning skate.

"He tryouts, that's what it felt like," recalls Leafs president Brendan Shanahan, the youngest guests but still Lindros older than four years, at the end of his centreman. "Did you know they were going to be Gretzky and Messier, but we knew there were places for the rest of us to win."

It seemed unlikely to have as much as a 18-year-old from the junior squad could earn a spot on Team Canada, those doubts were erased early in the process.

"The first day was a group of Eric different than me, and I arrived a young guy, everybody thought it was impressive, and its size and the speed," says Shanahan.

Even 25 years later, most imposing Lindros skill, size and strength of a package never stepped on the ice.

'No.1 pick on the pound.

"You can almost feel him when he was coming on the ice," Shanahan said Lindros. "There were a great player like him, but his speed and his ability to hit a turnover into a goal? There was not a lot of players like that."

Did he ever think of her bones and safe-cracker sounds hits combination of hands would take a while to gain traction in a training camp featuring the biggest names in the NHL?

"Not really," Lindros said with a laugh.

"I've played that I normally play, there was [some trepidation], sure, let's go. But in the summer of pros I'd skated when I was 14 and 15, which helped give me an idea."

Lindros felt welcome veteran stars, referring to the likes of Chicago Blackhawks stars Steve Larmer and Dirk Graham for helping him understand what was playing Keenan.

A few veterans who did not make the team a spot in the last few comments of a boy lost in a contract dispute was about and could still be in high school. They were happy to have him in the team for coming.

"He was immediately accepted by all the players is still to win a tournament, and the player who is 18 or 40 can help you win, it will be welcome in the dressing room," says Shanahan. "That's changing how they operate."

Not that Lindros was not wowed at the invitation of the game's most cherished into the sanctums.

"I remember walking into Maple Leaf Gardens was the first camp and the Leafs dressing room and I spent about an hour, walking from stall to stall, just looking at the names," says Lindros, now 43 years old father of three. "You're not just shock. It was a big deal."

It does not take him long to get up to speed. After the team, his first goal in his second game with a power play quite Luc Robitaille that helped spark from Wayne Gretzky won 6-3 by the United States.

It was an important result because of the flat had been in Canada a 2-2 tie with Finland in the tournament opener, he had a message to get across Keenan Helicoptering stick into the stands by the next practice, something that probably will not be this year TNA coach Todd McLellan repertoire.

"Nobody was spared," Lindros said, again laughing at the memory of his famous woeful Keenan. "It was a good trainer. We were very well prepared and in good shape. It was fun all the way through."

The only downer for Lindros was, as the clock struck midnight when it was finished; As an over-sized Cinderella back to OHL hockey was the most exciting prospect he waited in vain while Quebec's trading.

"Yes," says Lindros Gretzky on the power play after playing back to Oshawa. "It was an interesting year."

This is not a problem in Matthews will encounter. He will transition to the World Cup, and playing against the best on the planet, his first NHL franchise in the deepest resources of the camp where the sport will spare nothing to make sure he reaches his great potential.

Lindros playing best-on-best before the Hart Trophy in his first NHL game on a 100-point seasons and Hall-of-Fame portended. As the star-crossed his path as they finished with the Canada Cup was anything seemed possible moment to make that hockey is a dynamic talent never seen before or since.

It is in that respect Matthews teenager at the turn of the usual best-on-best hockey in the past 25 years has carved a trail before Lindros.

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