For hockey fans and pundits alike this is the dead of the offseason but for the players in the National Hockey League who want to be at the very top of their games there is never really a moment's respite.
There has been no clearer indication of that fact than the training sessions that have been taking place over the last two weeks in Arizona that feature Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews and Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid. NHL insider Elliotte Friedman revealed on Monday that McDavid made the journey down to Arizona after he decided that he wanted to take his offseason training to the next level, and what better way to do so than training with one of the game's other young stars.
Here's a very short clip that was published by McDavid 3 days ago:
Now aside from this clip as far as I know there has been no video of the training sessions featuring McDavid and Matthews and by all accounts this has been rather deliberate. Although the two NHL stars have chosen not to share the secrets of their training, at least not on video, they did agree to answer some pretty interesting questions regarding those training sessions. The one that peaked my interest the most was when both men were asked what they admired most, or rather what they would most like to take, from the other man's game.
We've already covered the answer from Auston Matthews, now here's what McDavid had to say:
"Wish I had his shot, of course," admitted the Oilers captain as per Friedman.
It should come as no surprise really given just how much attention has been given to how Matthews fires the puck since he entered the National Hockey League, but to hear a player as talented as McDavid make that kind of admission is quite something.
On a final note I would be remiss if I didn't comment on just how bizarre the timing of this decision is from these two. With the 2021 season approaching, a season which is expected to feature an all Canadian division, it is odd that McDavid and Matthews would choose to train together prior to the season in which they will likely face one another the most.