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Treliving confirms 'head injury' issues forced Matthews out of lineup


Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews was dealing with "head injury" issues which forced him out of Games 5 and 6 of their first-round series against the Boston Bruins, general manager Brad Treliving told the media on Friday. 

Treliving confirmed that Matthews picked up an illness after leading the Leafs to a Game 2 win in Boston and then suffered a hit in Game 4 which caused the issues with his head. 

With Matthews sidelined, the Maple Leafs won the next two games to force a Game 7 back in Boston. Matthews, who scored a league-leading 69 goals during the regular season, was cleared the morning of Game 7 and recorded an assist on Toronto's lone goal before losing in overtime. 

The Maple Leafs have failed to advance past the first round of the playoffs in seven of the eight years of Matthews' time in Toronto after he was selected first overall in the 2016 NHL Draft. 

Treliving also confirmed that star winger William Nylander missed the first three games of the playoffs with severe migraines after scoring 40 goals and a career-high 98 points over 82 games in the regular season. 

Nylander's new eight-year, $92 million contract begins next season. 

Goalie Joseph Woll missed Game 7 with a sprained back after allowing just two goals on a total of 51 shots during wins in Games 5 and 6. Woll will be a restricted free agent at the end of the 2024-25 season. 

Forward Bobby McMann suffered an MCL sprain late in the regular season and was unable to play in the postseason. The 27-year-old rookie, who signed a two-year, $2.7 million extension in March, scored 15 goals and nine assists over 56 games in 2023-24.

Treliving added that forward Connor Dewar was scheduled to undergo shoulder surgery on Friday. The 24-year-old, who was acquired from the Minnesota Wild ahead of the trade deadline, played all seven games against the Bruins, recording a single assist. He had one goal and four assists over 17 regular season games with the Leafs and is a restricted free agent this summer.