(Montreal) In leaving the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Montreal Canadiens, Pointe-Claire defender Michael Matheson returns home, but he also leaves a perpetual Stanley Cup contender for a club in reconstruction.
Posted at 11:29
He doesn’t mind for two cents.
In addition to being excited to return home, Matheson, who has just had his best offensive season with 31 points, including 11 goals, in 74 games, intends to benefit from the experience acquired with Kristopher Letang, Evgeny Malkin and Sidney Crosby to young Habs players.
Matheson also believes he has gained confidence and consistency over the past two seasons in Pittsburgh, after spending just over four years with the Florida Panthers.
The 28-year-old fullback doesn’t yet know what role head coach Martin St-Louis will give him in his squad, but he’s ready to step aside. Left-handed, he even says he is ready to play on the right side, where he has already evolved and where the Canadian suffers from a lack of depth.
He is also ready to take up the challenge of playing for a less well-endowed team in defense, which will have the effect of pairing him with better elements among CH opponents.
Matheson was a first-round pick, 23e overall, from the Panthers in the 2012 draft. He signed an eight-year, $39 million contract with the Panthers before the 2018-19 season, earning an average annual salary of $4.875 million. This contract will expire after the 2025-26 season. He was traded from the Panthers to the Penguins in September 2020 along with Colton Sceviour in return for Patric Hornqvist.