Before they become big names in the National Hockey League, often times the biggest stars of the game were once kids who were fanatical about the game of hockey and as is often the case in sports, huge fans of their local team.
Toronto Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews is likely a player that a generation of young fans in Toronto will grow up to idolize but earlier in life it was he who looked up to one NHL star in particular. For Matthews it was hometown hero Daniel Briere who was the player that consumed most of his attention, with Matthews stating that he just couldn't get enough of the flamboyant goal celebrations from the former Arizona Coyotes draft pick.
Fortunately for Matthews he got to play hockey with one of Briere's sons while growing up, and that led to him meeting the Coyotes star in the flesh.
"It's just funny kind of looking back at pictures with him when I was six, seven years old and then just how fast the time's flying by," said Matthews as per the CBC.
Matthews credits Briere for his NHL dream and he will get to face the team he grew up adoring for the first time in Toronto when the Coyotes visit the Leafs on Thursday night.