Leafs' Auston Matthews Becoming One Of NHL's Most Marketable Stars
Maple Leafs C Auston Matthews leads the NHL with 16 points in seven games, including 10 goals, but his off-ice moves are what have "garnered just as much attention recently," according to Isabelle Khurshudyan of the WASHINGTON POST. Matthews has "been everywhere from the pages of GQ to the cover of Sharp Magazine," including "staring intently at the camera while wearing a Dolce & Gabbana suit or a Givenchy sweater." It helps that Matthews "got a green light" for his marketing blitz from Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas. Dubas represents a "change" from his predecessor, the "old-school" Lou Lamoriello, who is now President of Hockey Operations & GM for the Islanders. Matthews has "organically become the face of a wave of young NHL talent that is making bolder, more creative choices on the ice," and who are now "starting to challenge a culture that's suppressed that sort of flash outside of the rink." Matthews said, "At some point, you've just got to do what makes you happy and put yourself out there and have fun." Khurshudyan noted Matthews' agent, Wasserman Senior VP/Hockey Judd Moldaver, at first did not "want to put too much on the plate too quickly" for Matthews. But now that Matthews is "more settled in his still-young NHL career, Moldaver has started to curate Matthews' off-ice opportunities according to his interests." Moldaver said, "We're open for business, and we've been open for business on his behalf. It's just a matter of the right brands, the right associations" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 10/15).