By Wally Barnes
HALIBURTON, ON – Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews has been living life on the wild side since retiring from hockey two weeks ago.
The league's first overall draft pick in 2016 has reportedly taken up hunting and hiking since officially hanging up his skates shortly after his debut game in October this year.
Matthews broke on to the NHL scene earlier last month with four goals in his first game, but was unable to replicate the feat in the games that immediately followed.
After month-long speculation over his abilities and his willingness to commit to the team in Toronto, Matthews was forced to retire and decided to move up north to avoid the spotlight.
"It was a decision that I made for my family," Matthews said in an interview on Thursday. "I had reached the highest of highs in Toronto."
"I made fans out of people who didn't even like hockey. There was nothing left for me to do in that city."
Under the guidance of his agent Pat Brisson, he hung up his skates and took the route of every other Maple Leafs player since 1967: enjoy retirement in a comfortable cottage far enough out of Toronto.
According to his friends, Matthews will begin seeking a role in the media as an insider sometime next year.
Until then, he intends to shoot some ducks.
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