Kyle Dubas learned of Auston Matthews’ disorderly conduct charge the same way as the rest of the hockey world.
The Maple Leafs general manager was apparently alerted via social media on Tuesday that Matthews was facing a disorderly conduct charge stemming from an incident that allegedly happened in Arizona in May.
“I found out on on Twitter yesterday and then called Auston,” Dubas told reporters following the Leafs’ 3-0 preseason win over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday. “There was no ducking, there was no denying anything. He was very honest with me about what had happened. I would’ve liked to know before, but I’m happy that in the moment when he could have ducked away or deferred that he was honest with me.”
Dubas said he had a good conversation with Matthews upon finding out about the incident, which the GM described as an educational moment for the Leafs organization as a whole.
“I think you always wish that whenever you’re part of any organization, athletics or otherwise, that there’s never going to be any issues, there’s never going to be any errors in judgment and never going to be any distractions. Unfortunately, there often are,” Dubas said. “We have to use it as an opportunity to continue to educate our whole organization — every player, every staff member — about the way that we expect our organization to conduct its business here at the rink every day — in the weight room, in the community — and how they interact with every citizen that they come into contact with, because when they are doing so they’re representing the Toronto Maple Leafs.”
Dubas noted that he is “disappointed” in Matthews, but that the 22-year-old and the team are still on good terms.
Heading into his second season as GM, Dubas feels that the Leafs could do better in guiding their young stars off the ice as they do on the ice.
“You don’t want it to come up as an excuse at all, but you often go through experiences. . . . where you have moments because the players are so prolific athletically, and they’re very unique in their field, you can have moments where you often forget that they’re 20, 21,18, 23, 24,” Dubas said. “And moments like this remind you of that. And they also remind you of the onus that we have as an organization to continue to develop our people, and how they conduct their business off the ice.”