As the 2023-24 NHL season approaches, the Montreal Canadiens and other NHL teams are starting to gear up and taking steps to maximize their potential on centre
One element that has captured the attention of fans and pundits alike is the dynamic trio of captains leading the Habs into the season, particularly defenceman Mike Matheson, who is sporting an "A" on his jersey for the very first time. Habs General Manager Kent Hughes announced on Monday, September 11 that Matheson will be an alternate captain throughout the 2023-24 season.
Nick Suzuki returns as team captain with Brendan Gallagher by his side as alternate captain for the second consecutive year. During the 2022-23 season, Cole Caufield held the alternate captain title. However, he sustained an injury causing him to back out for the remainder of the season.
With the Canadiens' pre-season performance under the microscope as it always is in hockey-mad Montreal, the pressure is on for this year's leadership core. Montreal's captain and assistant captains are often the first to undergo media scrutiny, and with Matheson's contribution to the team's chemistry — and leadership in the dressing room — now formally recognized, it's safe to say that all eyes will be on him.
So, whether you've followed his NHL career prior to joining the Canadiens or only recognize him by name, here is everything to know about Habs player Mike Matheson.
Who is Mike Matheson?
Mike Matheson (real name Michael Matheson) is a defenseman for the Montreal Canadiens. On September 11, Matheson was announced as the Montreal Canadien's newest alternate captain alongside Brendan Gallagher and team captain Nick Suzuki.
Matheson was drafted by Florida in the first round in 2012 (23rd overall) and made his NHL debut in 2016 in a 3-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets. The Florida Panthers traded him to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2020.
In 2022, Matheson was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Jeff Petry and Ryan Poehling. The trade resulted in Matheson reuniting with his former agent Kent Hughes, who is the current general manager of the Montreal Canadiens.
In eight NHL seasons, Matheson has totalled 172 points (57 goals, 115 assists) in 465 games with the Florida Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Canadiens. In 18 career playoff games he has 1 goal and 6 assists.
Where is Mike Matheson from?
Mike Matheson was born in the Montreal suburb of Pointe-Claire.
Who is Mike Matheson's wife?
In 2018, Mike Matheson proposed to his girlfriend, then fiancé and now wife, Emily Pflazer. The duo officially went on to tie the knot in the summer of 2019.
Matheson and Pflazer met during Matheson's time at Boston College. Pflazer, who is also an ice hockey player, took home an Olympic gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Pflazer, who now goes by Emily Matheson, also won gold at the 2015, 2016 and 2017 IIHF Women's World Championship.
The duo are proud parents to their adorable son Hudson, who they welcomed in 2021, and their fluffy doggo, Hank, who joined the Mathesons in 2018. The two celebrated Hudson's second birthday this past June.
What number is Mike Matheson?
Mike Matheson's Canadiens number is eight (#8). If you're inquiring about his phone number, read the above FAQ — dude is taken.
How tall is Mike Matheson?
Mike Matheson is six feet two inches (188 cm) and weighs 195 pounds, per the NHL.
How much money does Mike Matheson make?
According to Cap Friendly, a website specializing in NHL salaries, contracts and the business aspect of the sport, Mike Matheson's salary is $6,500,000 with a cap hit of $4,875,000 for the 2023-24 season. His salary is comprised of $2,500,000 in signing bonuses and $4,000,000 in base salary.
What team does Mike Matheson play for?
Mike Matheson currently plays for the Montreal Canadiens. Prior to being traded to the Habs, Matheson played for both the Florida Panthers and Pittsburgh Penguins.
How old is Mike Matheson?
Born on February 27, 1994, Matheson is 29 years old as of the time of publication. For those who are into astrology, Matheson is a Pisces.
Does Mike Matheson speak French?
Yes, Mike Matheson does speak French. He attended a French-speaking school growing up and became fluent. "I grew up with a lot of different kids in school from different backgrounds. I was kind of the English kid to a point, and a lot of people didn't expect us to speak French coming out of our part of town," the NHL player said.
In fact, during his time playing with the Penguins, Matheson was asked by an RDS reporter if he could ask his question in French, Matheson was very keen on the French exchange, smiling agreeably. "The fact that I can still do interviews in French and kind of hold my own is something that surprises some people," Matheson said.
Matheson has even used French on the ice in order to keep certain plays a secret from the other team. "We'll get to the faceoff a little late and won't necessarily have a plan, so we can talk to each other in French and not let the other team know what we're doing unless there's a French guy on their team on the ice at that point. I think that's definitely an added bonus," Matheson said in response to playing in Pittsburgh alongside fellow Quebecer Kris Letang.
When did Mike Matheson move to the United States?
Matheson moved to the U.S. in 2011 following high school in Quebec. He went to Iowa at the time to play for the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League.
In a 2021 interview, Matheson shared that when he'd first moved to the U.S. his Canadian accent was very noticeable. However, after over a decade across the border, Matheson's Canuck accent is barely there. "Originally I had a pretty Canadian accent when I first went to the States, but I've been here for 10 years now, so it's pretty much gone now," Matheson said at the time. "I find now that I've been in the States, when I go home, I notice it in my siblings and my parents a lot."
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.