Selanne Comments on Laine, Matt Murray Receives Extension & More

When Patrik Laine was taken with the second overall selection in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft by the Winnipeg Jets, people couldn’t help but make comparisons between the 18-year-old and Teemu Selanne. Both players had a scoring touch, both were natives of Finland, and both were starting their careers in the ‘Peg. When Laine scores his first career hat trick (in just his fourth career game), Selanne made sure to get involved in the celebration.

Anytime a legend like Selanne takes notice of what you’re doing, it’s a good day.

“It was just two against one. I’m better two against one from the other side so I decided to shoot,” Laine said of his overtime goal. “It just went right where I wanted it to be. It was an amazing feeling.”

Laine’s third goal of the night came during overtime, giving the Jets the victory over Auston Matthews (the first overall selection from the 2016 NHL Entry Draft) and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“It’s late in the game in overtime. It’s tough to make moves, the ice is a little rough, so I tried (to) slide it in there,” Matthews said. “The goalie read it well, and it’s 3-on-3, so you get the puck going one way, it’s an odd-man rush the other.”

It’s safe to say that Laine is confident, and has a good sense of humor, given his comments after his performance.

Matt Murray Reaches Contract Extension With Pittsburgh

When the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup last season, they didn’t do it on the back of starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. Instead, they were able to win it with rookie goaltender Matt Murray. The Penguins were looking to lock up their young budding star, and according to Bob McKenzie early Thursday morning, were close to an extension likely worth less than $4 million per season, and in the three-year range.

Furthering that claim, Pierre LeBrun confirmed that the deal would be a three-year contract with a cap hit of $3.75 million.

In just 13 games last season, Murray did put up very impressive numbers. He started each game that he played in, not playing in a single relief effort, and recorded a 9-2-1 record with only 25 goals against. His 2.00 goals against average and .930 save percentage were certainly impressive, but given the small sample size, most around the hockey world took it with a grain of salt. When Marc-Andre Fleury went down with an injury in the playoffs and Murray had to step in, however, everything changed.

Murray stepped up to the task, starting 21 games and recording a 15-6 record with a 2.08 goals against average and a .923 save percentage. Even more impressive was the fact that Murray only turned 22-years-old on May 25. Making a deep playoff run with a 21-year-old rookie goalie isn’t a common thing in the NHL as goalies typically develop much later than other positional players.

The Penguins now have a good problem on their hands. With both Fleury and Murray under contract as very capable starting goalies, the team will have to make a decision on what to do moving forward. This problem is magnified even further given the upcoming expansion draft following this season.

Joe Thornton and Brent Burns Pictured Walking Around Pittsburgh

The hockey world is full of funny surprises. There are times when the entire hockey community can get together for an impressive goal, a playoff run, or a big event celebrating the life and career of legends of the game. There are other times, however, when the entire hockey world can get together and appreciate a candid picture of Brent Burns, and a shirtless Joe Thornton.

On Wednesday, both Burns and Thornton were seen and photographed walking around Pittsburgh. There were undoubtedly some doubters than the two in questions were actually Thornton and Burns, despite the uncanny resemblance. There are a lot of people in the world who have huge beards, as Burns and Thornton do, after all. Fortunately, Burns did his part to confirm the photograph as authentic, albeit a little bit creepy.

The hockey world needs a good community moment like this every now and again, and Thornton and Burns are simply doing their part in providing that. This isn’t the first time they’ve done so, given the fact that their beards are always a big subject of discussion whenever talking about the Sharks teammates.

Odds and Ends

– The Utica Comets have sold out 57 consecutive home games