The Toronto Maple Leafs say they are aware of a complaint of disturbing the peace against star centre Auston Matthews.
In a statement, the Leafs said “Auston is co-operating fully with the relevant authorities but neither he nor the Club will comment any further out of respect for the process involved.”
At the team’s morning skate on Wednesday, Matthews said he regrets if any of his actions are a distraction to the Leafs.
“It’s not something that I think any of us really wish we were talking about today. Unfortunately, it’s the situation we’re in.” he said. “I regret any of my actions that would ever put a distraction on the team or distress any individual.”
“I take a lot of pride in preparing myself for the season and representing the Toronto Maple Leafs as well as I can. Unfortunately due to the situation, I’m afraid I can’t really make any other comments,” Matthews added.
Matthews did not take questions from reporters before the Leafs’ pre-season game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said he first learned of the charge on Tuesday.
“You’re always disappointed,” Babcock said. “As the Toronto Maple Leafs, we always pride ourselves on doing things right – on the ice, off the ice – in treating people. And so it’s an unfortunate situation.”
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly declined comment when asked about the allegations.
A Scottsdale, Ariz., police spokesperson said the department in Matthews’ hometown investigated a disorderly conduct case involving an Auston Matthews on May 26. He said Matthews was not arrested and the case has been forwarded to the City of Scottsdale Prosecutor’s Office for review.
On Wednesday, Scottsdale Police released body cam footage of the interview with the woman who pressed charges against Auston.
WARNING: Video contains strong language
A Scottsdale police report alleges Matthews and a group of people attempted to open the door to a female security guard’s vehicle that was parked outside a condo building at 2 a.m.
At some point during a confrontation with the guard, Matthews allegedly walked away before he “pulled down his pants, bent over and grabbed his butt cheeks.”
Online court records show that an Auston Matthews, with a birthdate of September 1997 was issued a summons on July 23 for “disorderly conduct — disruptive behaviour or fighting.” The Leafs centre was born Sept. 17, 1997.
The City of Scottsdale’s court website listed a pre-trial conference set for Wednesday morning.
The lawyer for Matthews is listed as Larry Kazan. His website includes names of a number of past high-profile clients including Glen Campbell, Stephon Marbury, David Boston, Jason Kidd, Nikki Sixx, Terrell Suggs, Jason Richardson and Charles Barkley.
A message left at Kazan’s Phoenix office Tuesday afternoon wasn’t immediately returned.
Matthews signed a five-year, US$58.17-million contract extension with the Leafs back in February that kicked in July 1 with a signing bonus of more than $15 million.
The first pick in the 2016 NHL draft, Matthews has 111 goals and 205 points in 212 career regular-season games. He’s added 10 goals and three assists in 20 playoff outings for Toronto.