Pittsburgh Penguins’ goaltender Matt Murray clearly can’t stay healthy and at this point, it might be time for the Pens to start thinking about their future in goal.
Clearly, Murray may not be the answer. Murray is expected to be out for at least the next few games due to a concussion, which he sustained during the team’s practice on Monday. This is Murray’s second concussion in 2018 and his third since the 2015-16 season.
This should definitely be a major concern for the Penguins and the future of their goaltending. While Murray is the guy that helped the team win back-to-back Cups in 2016 and 2017, he is someone that continues to show how fragile he is and can’t seem to stay between the pipes.
What’s also concerning is that the team never knows how long Murray is going to be out. Concussions clearly impact professional athletes in a major way and when it comes to the brain, you need to be extremely careful and consider what to do long-term. Not everything in one’s life should be about sports.
What’s awful for management is not only are they going to be worried about Murray, but they will also be concerned with the amount of money they are paying him. Next year, Murray will be in the final year of his three-year $11.25 million contract, which is a lot of money to be paying someone who is constantly hurt.
As a whole, Murray’s injury history is both astounding and worrisome. As mentioned above, he has already had several injuries thus far in his short career.
In February, Murray, 24, took a puck to the head and was diagnosed with a concussion.
This was not the only time he was hurt last season. In late November, he was placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury when Philadelphia Flyers’ forward Jakub Voracek collided with him on a breakaway.
In the 2017 playoffs, Murray got hurt in warmups prior to Game 1 of their first-round series with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He did not come back till Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Ottawa Senators.
In April of 2016, he suffered a concussion in a collision with then-Flyers’ forward Brayden Schenn. He ended up missing the start of the playoffs that year.
Murray also broke his hand as a member of Team USA in the 2016 World Cup. He also missed some time that NHL season with a lower-body injury.
Now, he has three concussions, which is awful for someone who is still just 24 years old. It is time for both Murray and the Penguins to not only think seriously about his health but also his future with the club.
Photo: Sports Illustrated