Monday LNN: Muray to Belleville, MTL Changes, Penguins Sold, and More!
Welcome back to the Monday edition of Links, New, and Notes. It’s been a busy couple of days in the hockey world, so let’s get started right away:
- As you probably all know, the Ottawa Senators waived Matt Murray on Saturday. On Sunday, Murray cleared waivers and has apparently reached out to Belleville where he will be joining the AHL roster. The plan is for Murray to begin the games in hopes of regaining his form and confidence. DJ Smith clearly believed he was unable to provide the goalkeeper the team needed, so Murray will likely have to string a number of strong performances before being recalled. I wouldn’t expect this to be a short stay.
- Something that was noticeably absent during the Murray ordeal is any communication from the management group. Usually when a change of this magnitude wears off, one would expect the GM (or maybe the Senior VP of Player Development) to step in front of the media and talk things through. Instead, it was up to Smith to answer the pressing questions. Ian Mendes picks up on this dynamic in this piece in the Athletic.
- Ottawa isn’t the only Canadian NHL franchise going through tumultuous times: it was reported over the weekend that the Habs were launching a search for a replacement for lame duck GM Marc Bergevin. On Saturday night, Scott Mellanby resigned abruptly and it was later announced that he had been informed that he would not be Bergevin’s successor. On Sunday, Marc Bergevin, AGM Trevor Timmins and EVP for Communication Paul Wilson were all released from their duties. Today Jeff Gorton was announced as President of Hockey Operations – which is different from the GM title Bergevin held. This also allows Montreal to continue to maintain its own rule that the GM is bilingual for technical reasons. Follow all of this?
- Over at ESPN, Greg Wyshynski has an overview of who might qualify for the GM bilingual position.
- Speaking of Canadian teams going through turmoil, one could say that things have gotten more than a little uneasy in Vancouver. Head coach Travis Green and GM Jim Benning appear to be on their way out, but the ownership group doesn’t seem able to deliver the coup de grace. Not great, Bob!
- In other news changing the franchise, the sale of the Pittsburgh Penguins to Fenway Sports Group was completed today. Mario Lemieux will keep a stake. Who knows, maybe a franchise sale could set a benchmark for a particular owner of a particular small market team who wants to cash out while they’re still ahead? Hmmm?
- Well-known loser Brendan Lemieux will be heard personally on Saturday to determine his discipline for Brady Tkachuk’s bite.
- In New York, two of their swaying islands games were postponed on Saturday to give the team a chance to deal with the COVID outbreak.