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Penguins goalie Matt Murray out indefinitely after dad dies

Jonathan Bombulie
| Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, 12:57 p.m.
Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray allows a third goal to Vancouver Canucks' Brock Boeser during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, British Columbia, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)
Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray allows a third goal to Vancouver Canucks' Brock Boeser during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, British Columbia, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

Goalie Matt Murray will take an indefinite leave from the Penguins due to the death of his father, James, the team announced.

Murray stayed at home in Ontario while the rest of the team returned from a five-day off week last Friday and missed the first two games after the break. He traveled to California with the team for a three-game road trip Monday, but has since returned home to be with his family.

"It's a difficult time for anyone, when you lose a loved one, especially one of your parents. It's never an easy situation," coach Mike Sullivan said. "It doesn't make it any easier, but certainly I know his teammates, his coaching staff, his management team and the whole Penguins organization are 100 percent supporting him through this process."

Murray's father, who died Tuesday, was a lawyer in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Murray has two flags painted on his back of his helmet, a Scottish flag and a Dutch flag. The Scottish flag honors his father's heritage. The Dutch flag honors his mother's. His parents' initials are written underneath.

When Murray had his day with the Stanley Cup in 2016, his father displayed an 8-inch replica of the famous trophy made out of aluminum foil that he had kept since his son presented it to him for Father's Day when he was a child.

"He didn't get any hockey sense or ability from me," James Murray said in an interview with CBC Radio in June. "I didn't even start skating until university days and didn't play sports as a kid for different reasons. I think the only thing he may have got from me that way is a love of the game. That probably rubbed off a little bit on him."

Murray has said he thinks of his parents before every game.

"My parents were unbelievably supportive," he told in 2016. "I can't thank them enough. You can't even imagine how much money it costs to play triple-A hockey in Thunder Bay, because it's a 100 percent travel team, so you have to pay for all the flights and all the hotels, and that's kind of combined into one lump payment at the start of the season. It's a crazy amount of money.

"My parents paid that. I played five years of triple-A, so my parents paid that for five years in a row and never once complained about the equipment. Never once complained about paying so much money for me to play. It's crazy how supportive they were."

While Murray is on leave, rookies Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith will make up the team's goaltending tandem.

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