Auston Matthews All Star Game skates

TORONTO -- Auston Matthews wore his heart on his feet at the 2024 Honda (U.S.)/Rogers (Canada) NHL All-Star Game on Saturday.

The Toronto Maple Leafs forward and Team Matthews captain wore CCM skates designed by him and Finn, a 7-year-old cystic fibrosis patient at SickKids in Toronto.

“It means a lot,” Matthews said after his team won the All-Star Game. “It’s cool to be able to do stuff like that and get special people involved. I’ve been fortunate to build a really good relationship with SickKids hospital here in Toronto. It’s always a really good feeling to connect with people and do something special.”

Matthews’ All-Star skates featured a green dragon on one side, a teal dragon on the other and a blue maple leaf on the back. Matthews, in a Maple Leafs post on social media, said his favorite touch on the skates is painted art of two people shooting on a net.

“That’s supposed to be me and him,” Matthews said on the post.

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects the lung, pancreas and other organs. An estimated 105,000 people have been diagnosed with CF across 94 countries, according to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

The special skates were personal for Matthews. His late uncle, Bill, who was influential in getting him involved in hockey, had cystic fibrosis.

“He had season tickets to (Phoenix) Coyotes games, so he would always bring me and my dad,” Matthews said in a YouTube video posted by CCM.  “Without him and without that connection, I’m not sure I’d be playing hockey.”

“It means a lot to be able to wear (the skates) on a big stage like the All-Star Game and for Finn, as well, to see his creation on TV and on a bit of a world stage…,” Matthews said in the YouTube video.