Murphy Signs Extension, Canada's Golden Goal, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Murphy Signs Extension, Canada’s Golden Goal, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

Hello all, it it September 1st.

This will be on repeat all day. I don’t care that it’s not the 21st, the song is called “September” and we are in it. Which also means we are in the same month where the NHL rookie and training camps begin. We are days away from actually seeing NHL and AHL hockey players playing hockey.

I am excited.

•   In case you missed it yesterday, happening right after bullets were published, the Chicago Blackhawks signed defenseman Connor Murphy to a four-year contract extension.

•   At four years and a $4.4M AAV cap hit, that’s great value for a defenseman who has flown under the radar as the team’s best defenseman for the past few years…

•   Murphy finished the past two seasons in Chicago as the second-most used defenseman on the team behind Duncan Keith and will more than likely finish second in defensemen ice-time this upcoming season behind Seth Jones.

•   Murphy, along with Jones and Jake McCabe are now the longest-termed defensemen on the Blackhawks squad and the core group on the blue-line has drastically shifted over the past three seasons. Gone are Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Henri Jokiharju, and Adam Boqvist, while Murphy, McCabe, Jones, and Calvin de Haan will populate the top-four spots in the defensive rotation with Riley Stillman, Wyatt Kalynuk, Caleb Jones, Ian Mitchell, and Nicolas Beaudin likely battling it out for the final two spots. Locking-up Murphy to an extremely team-friendly deal is another positive move by the Blackhawks this summer to continue building their core of the future.

•   In other Blackhawks news, it appears that Patrick Sharp will be headed back to his alma mater at the University of Vermont to be a coaching advisor.

•   Sharp had been doing NHL analyst work for NBC Sports both nationally and locally in Chicago for the past few years, but appears that those opportunities may not have been extended his way after the ESPN/Turner sports takeover of the NHL broadcasting rights. The three-time Stanley Cup winner played 65 games at Vermont over two years from 2000-2002 and was named to the ECAC All-Rookie team in 2000-01.

•   In other news in the Central Division, the Wild are still working to get a deal done with Calder Trophy winner Kirill Kaprizov and avoid him heading back to the KHL…

•   The Islanders made four deals official today, giving extensions to Kyle Palmieri, Casey Cizikas, Anthony Beauvillier, and Ilya Sorokin.

•   In ECHL news, the Cincinnati Cyclones have promoted assistant coach Jason Payne to become the team’s head coach, a move that makes him the only Black head coach in men’s professional hockey (NHL, AHL, ECHL) currently. ESPN’s Emily Kaplan has more on the story…

•   The highlight of the night went to Team Canada as they topped Team USA 3-2 in overtime to snap the U.S. streak of Gold Medals at the IIHF World Championships and claim Canada’s first Gold since 2012 (which was also an overtime win). The golden goal coming from none other than Canadian Women’s hockey legend Marie-Philip Poulin…

•   WHAT CHAOS!

•   Shades of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final, Poulin’s goal took nearly a full minute of action after it to be confirmed while play continued. But the right call was made and Canada takes home the Gold Medal on home ice.

•   A view from the Canadian bench as the goal was confirmed during play…

•   Who else but Poulin to score the game-winning goal, too. The long-time Captain of Canada’s Women’s side, she has been the catalyst of so many of these kinds of moments for her country, it’s almost unreal how clutch she is.

•   While it was heartbreak for Team USA, they still come home with a Silver Medal and their 20th medal in 20 competitions at the IIHF World Championships. But the night belonged to Canada…

•   That will do it for today. Hope you all enjoy your Wednesday!



Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.