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Auston Matthews raises over $100,000 for Movember, pledges to shave trademark mustache

Erica Commisso
NHL: New York Rangers at Toronto Maple Leafs
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of people, including his teammates, have a lot to say about Auston Matthews‘ mustache. The Toronto Maple Leafs’ superstar forward has become synonymous with facial hair, as he’s sported it for a few seasons, making a scene in Canadian media in 2019.

But, he has finally decided to part ways with his trademark ‘stache, promising to do so if he raised over $134,000 for Movember. He made the pledge on October 28, a few days before Movember began, and Leafs fans came through.

On the evening of November 20, Matthews officially surpassed $134,000 (34 is the number Matthews wears on his jersey), and he will officially lose his mustache at the end of the month.

In his Mo-Museum, Auston Matthews calls himself a facial hair connoisseur, and notes that, while he made the same pledge last year, he did not quite reach his $134,000 goal, so his iconic facial hair remained.

“We’re so excited to be working alongside Auston Matthews to raise vital funds for men’s health,” said Todd Minerson, Country Director for Movember Canada in a statement. “Auston’s mustache is iconic. When you think of the NHL and mustaches, it’s one of the first that comes to mind. This is why it’s especially exciting for us to have Auston willing to put that trademark Mo on the line to help us raise awareness and funds for Movember during a year when conversations around men’s health have never been more important.”

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Online, Auston Matthews stars in a video in which he stands contemplating his facial hair in a carefully curated Mo-Museum, one that he says he spent the last year curating, thinking about putting his mustache on the line.

Movember is the leading worldwide charity that specifically aims to change the face of men’s health. It has become known for raising funds and awareness for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and, more recently, mental health and suicide prevention.

In 2019, Sportsnet did a special asking what Auston Matthews’ teammates (some of whom still play on the team, like William Nylander, and some former teammates like Freddie Andersen and Zach Hyman) thought about his mustache and, while Nylander had a lot of praise for the mo, Hyman had a different opinion. Hyman had an issue with the thin, pencil-like outline of the stache, and noted that his wife would not be happy if he came home with a mustache like Matthews’.

Donations to Auston Matthews’ mustache and Movember campaign have exceeded $140,000, and donations are collected until the end of the month, until Matthews shaves his stache. Donations can be made to Matthews’ MoSpace, and those in Canada who donate $34 or more are automatically entered to win a signed CCM Auston Matthews stick. Terms of the CCM Movember contest are outlined on the charity’s website. The contest closes on November 30.

Auston Matthews’ 2021-2022 season

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Toronto Maple Leafs
Nov 20, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (34) skates with the puck against Pittsburgh Penguins in the first period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

On the ice, Matthews is rebounding from a slow start to the season, performing well in the Leafs’ return to high-skill gameplay. He has five points in his last five games, 17 points through 18 games, and an average of about 20 minutes per game. The dynamic American forward is part of the Leafs’ core four, which also includes Mitch Marner, John Tavares, and Nylander.

The first overall pick in 2016 scored 41 goals in last year’s shortened campaign, and many Leafs fans are hoping he will echo his scoring ways in this year’s campaign as, with the divisions and matchups returning to normal, Auston Matthews and the Maple Leafs have some difficult competition in the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins.