Rick Zamperin: Auston Matthews may have blown his chance of becoming captain of the Maple Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews speaks to reporters after a locker clean out at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, on Thursday, April 25, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

Auston Matthews will be in court Wednesday morning to face a charge of disorderly conduct in Scottsdale, Ariz., and it couldn’t come at a worse time for the Toronto Maple Leafs superstar.

Court documents show Matthews is being investigated for disorderly conduct and disruptive behaviour or fighting following an incident on May 26, 2019, when the 22-year-old allegedly played a prank on a female security guard at a condominium complex.

READ MORE: Toronto Maple Leafs aware of disorderly conduct complaints against Auston Matthews

ABC15 in Arizona reports the security guard told police that she was completing paperwork while sitting in a car around 2 a.m. when she heard someone trying to open the doors of the vehicle, and when she got out of the car, Matthews and several friends told the security guard that they jiggled the door handle because “they believed it would be funny to see how she would respond.”

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City of Scottsdale. City of Scottsdale

The team has issued a statement saying, “Auston is co-operating fully with the relevant authorities but neither he nor the club will comment any further out of respect for the process involved.”

Matthews was born in California but grew up in Arizona and returns to the state during the offseason.

The alleged incident came almost exactly a month after the Maple Leafs were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Boston Bruins.

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Matthews is on the cover of the NHL20 video game by EA Sports, he’s one of the league’s marquee players and is widely expected to be named the next captain of the Leafs.

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Or will he?

READ MORE: Rick Zamperin: The next captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs is…

The allegations have certainly thrown a little egg on Matthews’ face. He will not only have to answer questions in court but he will be grilled by the Toronto media. He can sure as heck be expected to answer whether or not he thinks he still deserves to be the captain.

If president Brendan Shanahan, GM Kyle Dubas, head coach Mike Babcock and the rest of the team believes Matthews should wear the ‘C’, this incident isn’t egregious enough to force them to change that decision, but it may force the club to delay the announcement until just before next Wednesday’s season opener.

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