DIFFERENCE OF OPINION: Matthias Didn't Like Culture in Florida; Horachek Said Matthias a Victim of Being a Victim
Shawn Matthias was back at the Panthers' training facility on Saturday less than two weeks after being traded to Vancouver in the Roberto Luongo deal.
General manager Dale Tallon earlier said that Matthias had asked to be traded a few months back as he was unhappy with his situation with the team.
On Saturday, Matthias said he was happy to be dealt away, saying he didn't fit in with Peter Horachek's philosophy and wasn't happy playing the role of a fourth-line winger.
"I think it was obvious [a trade] was going to happen, especially after [Kevin] Dineen was let go,'' Matthias said. "I was happy for the move, for the opportunity. I've really loved the change so far.
"I think it's a different atmosphere here, a different culture. You play hard, you play. In Florida too many players are given things and it's not the right way. .-.-. It was obvious whenever guys were out how well I played. Then they came back and nothing changed, nothing happened. I was upset for a while here. I wanted a fair shake. Now I'm in a good situation.''
Horachek tried holding back when asked about Matthias' comments but made it clear he feels Matthias needs to take responsibility for his standing in the league.
"He's a talented young player, has size, can skate and has all the tools,'' Horachek said. "But he gets in his own way. I'll leave it at that.
"He went through four coaches [in Florida]. No one is picking on him, no one is saying he can't play a different role. But there's accountability and the ability to get out of the victim role and start playing for the accountability of his teammates. Start playing for the team and stop playing for the name and number on the back.''
Since being dealt, Matthias has a goal and an assist for the Canucks. He had three goals in the two games with the Panthers before the trade.
PHOTO BY KELSEY HINDS @Kelsey1344