In case you missed it during the frenzy of activity during the NHL’s trade deadline yesterday, Pittsburgh Penguins veteran forward Patric Hornqvist signed a five-year, $26.5 million contract with the club.
Look, no one is denying Hornqvist’s accomplishments as a member of the Penguins but… a $5.3 million cap hit for the next five years, for a 31-year-old winger. That’s… that’s a steep price.
The Sollentuna, Sweden native has been instrumental in the Penguins’ back-to-back Stanley Cup championships and even scored the game winning goal in last year’s epic Game Six victory over the Nashville Predators in the Stanley Cup Final.
With Hornqvist now locked up, the Penguins have seven core pieces inked through the 2021-22 season: Hornqvist, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, Kris Letang, Brian Dumoulin and Olli Maatta. Not bad.
For what it’s worth, Hornqvist’s teammates and head coach Mike Sullivan couldn’t be happier for the gritty, in your face winger.
Hornqvist himself clearly couldn’t be happier with the way things have worked out during negotiations with Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford:
So, we ask you Penguins Feed: Did the Penguins pay too much for Hornqvist?
Murray out with a concussion
According to a report from Pens Inside Scoop, the official social media account of the Pittsburgh Penguins, starting goalie Matt Murray has been diagnosed with a concussion.
No word on the extent of the injury or a timetable for his return.
Murray reportedly took a puck to the head during the Penguins' practice yesterday afternoon and did not return.
With yesterday being trade deadline day in the NHL, the rumor mill went crazy with nearly every reputable reporter in the media landscape hypothesizing that Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford would make a trade to acquire some insurance in goal. One option, Buffalo Sabres' netminder Robin Lehner, was apparently close to coming to Pittsburgh, but a deal could not be consummated before the 3pm ET deadline.
As it turned out, Rutherford decided to stand pat with his lineup, and appears happy with the relief that rookies Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith have provided the team during Murray's absences this year. Still... if you're a Pens fan, you can't help but feel some trepidation heading into the stretch drive and the playoffs. Murray has played just 41 games this season as he's had to battle multiple injuries and took a leave of absence to mourn the sudden passing of his father. In 41 games, Murray has a pedestrian 2.82 GAA and .909 save percentage, which is a far cry from his eye-popping statistics of the past two years.
It remains to be seen how long Murray will be out of the Pens' lineup this time, but all we can do as fans is hope for the best. Rest up, Murray. We're gonna need you again. Come back stronger than ever.
It appears as though DeSmith will get the start in goal tonight as the Penguins take on the New Jersey Devils.