Mike Matheson Hints His Boston College Days Are Numbered

Bruce Bennett

Interview with Panthers blog confirms what we already knew... But it doesn't sting any less.

Last month, Michael Matheson took an interview with Florida Panthers blog "Panther Parkway," which featured quite a bit of talk about BC and Matheson's future here. It was a bit depressing, really.

"Definitely in the next year or two I’d to try and make [the Panthers' roster]. I don’t think that I will stay at BC all 4 years," Matheson said of his future with Boston College.

Okay, well, we knew this. Matheson was one of the top pro prospects in the country his draft year. Plus he's Canadian, so it's a miracle he came here in the first place rather than go play Major Juniors:

While he would have been able to get more game experience playing in the CHL, Matheson expressed to me in an interview earlier this year that playing collegiate hockey would give him more free time to spend in the gym, putting on weight and building up his frame to withstand the rigors of the NHL.

Okay, that's a good reason, I guess. But the education is important, right? What about the education?

Although he is unlikely to make the Panthers’ lineup this season, Matheson made it clear that his development on the ice, not his education, would dictate how long he stays in college.

Oh, come on! At least don't make it sound like he doesn't care. Does he? It's hard to tell coming through the words of the blogger and not Matheson himself.

This bothers me. Guys in the past made it a point to talk about how important it is to stay three years to have the opportunity to complete their education. The way this article is written it seems like Matheson doesn't really care.

I understand that his number one priority is to prepare himself for his future, and for a player like him, that future is the NHL. But it's always been a point of pride that BC players seem to take the education portion of college hockey seriously. "A degree in one hand and a ring in the other." That sort of thing. It gives rooting for BC hockey that something extra. It's something we're proud of.

It's been a long time since a serious NHL prospect left the Heights before his junior season. If Matheson leaves after this year, it would be a break in that trend. It would be very difficult to complete his degree with just two years of classes under his belt. Did Matheson know that coming into his career at BC? Did he come here with no expectation nor desire to leave with a diploma?

Maybe I'm in the minority, but it's important to me to see players who come to Boston College be proud to be at Boston College, not just here as another step toward the pros. That's what Major Juniors are for.

To be fair, Matheson did leave open the option of him staying a third year. And totally aside from the fact that it would give BC a better shot at back-to-back titles, I hope he does. I hope BC's big time recruits continue to care about academics.

But if this is indeed Matheson's last year on the Heights, it'll be quite a disappointment. I would almost have preferred to see him play in Canada. But rather than the start of the trend, hopefully it would be just a blip in Jerry York's history of recruiting athletes who care about leaving with more than just one full hand.

Just more of the NCAA masquerading as minor leagues for pro sports.

Maybe it's just me.

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