NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 9, 2018
Updates on Matt Murray, Sebastian Aho, Nate Schmidt and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins goaltending coach Mike Buckley wants Matt Murray not to put too much pressure on himself. “The next step for him is to take it all in and enjoy it. ‘Hey, I’m the guy now. I can accept that. I don’t have to be Marc-Andre Fleury, but I can be tighter with my teammates and really open up to them.’ “
SPECTOR’S NOTE: After backstopping the Penguins to consecutive Stanley Cup championships in his first two seasons, Murray struggled through an injury-hampered 2017-18 culminating in the Washington Capitals bouncing them from the second round of the 2018 playoffs. They’ll need a healthier, relaxed Murray at his best if they’re to contend for their third Cup in four years.
CBS SPORTS: The Carolina Hurricanes and forward Sebastian Aho hope to reach agreement on a contract extension before the start of the upcoming season. Aho is in the final season of his three-year entry-level contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Entering this third NHL campaign, Aho is the Hurricanes’ best forward. He was their leading scorer last season and finished second the year prior. With over $44 million invested in 11 players for 2019-20 (stick tap to Cap Friendly), they can easily afford to pay him a significant raise.
NBC SPORTS: Current and former teammates of Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt were shocked by his 20-game suspension for violating the league’s PED policy. Schmidt insisted he didn’t intentionally taken a banned substance and the trace amount found in his system wouldn’t have affected his performance.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens prospect Jake Evans was released from hospital yesterday and is following the club’s concussion protocol after being stretchered from the ice during Friday’s rookie showdown between the Canadiens and Ottawa Senators. Evans received a high hit from Senators defenseman Jonathan Aspirot and crashed hard to the ice.
THE ATHLETIC: Hockey analytics pioneer Rob Vollman was hired by the Los Angeles Kings as their Senior Hockey Analyst.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Vollman in his new job. Over the past several years, his Hockey Abstract became the bible for hockey analytics.