Flames stars Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk both choose to head south of the border rather than resign in Calgary but that doesn't mean Auston Matthews will consider himself in a similar dilemma when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2024.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Omar, are you reconciling with the fact that, because all of this is happening with guys like Johnny Goudreau wanting to go home and Matthew Tkachuk getting out of Calgary, that it probably means Auston Matthews wants to go home too?
I'm just kidding. It's not going to happen.
OMAR: It's a completely-- OK, these are moments where I understand--
JULIAN MCKENZIE: All right, everyone, give Omar his three minutes.
OMAR: Yeah, literally.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Pull out your props. Pull out your food. Get everything you need to do to enjoy Omar going off.
OMAR: These are the moments where I understand. If you're a non-Leafs fan, I understand how annoying it can be because the second the Tkachuk thing happened, it immediately turned into, oh, is Auston Matthews next. And I get it. I understand it. He's the best player on one of the most profitable teams in the league. I get it. I understand it.
Completely different situations, completely different. Now, if it ends up being that way, if they don't make the playoffs next year or if it's another first round exit, I understand it. I get it. But completely different situations. And I know I saw a lot of people tweeting at me or tweeting about it in general, saying, oh, well, no American player has ever spent their entire career in Canada. OK, maybe this could be it, completely different.
He loves the city. He loves it. He has an opportunity to be the greatest Leaf of all time, of all time. The numbers he's been putting up-- yes, there isn't playoff success yet, hopefully. But just give them an opportunity, man. Give them a chance. Just because Goodrow and Tkachuk did something doesn't mean that every American star in Canada is automatically going to leave.
Because, you know what? Let's flip it. Let's flip it. Every Canadian player in the States is going to move up, no Canadian players in the States. That's it.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Yeah. John Tavares-- John Tavares,
OMAR: Exactly! Exactly!
JULIAN MCKENZIE: That's it.
OMAR: That sounds so ridiculous. Every Canadian player in the States is going to move up to Canada? No, man. It's different things, circumstances, stage of life, opportunity, whatever. So just because Tkachuk and Goudreau went to the States doesn't automatically mean Matthews is going to. And to be honest, I really don't think he's going to. But things might change. Who knows?
And if he does end up leaving, then it will not be because, oh, well, Johnny Goudreau and Matthew Tkachuk did it, so I'm going to do the same thing. No. However, let's not put that into the universe. Let's not put that into the minutiae. Let's hold onto the small, little nugget of positivity that I still have towards this team. And I'm going to imagine that going forward.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: You don't have to do a damn thing. That's just you.