Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Rat Trick Morning Links: Bryan Murray, Kane And Toews, 2015 NHL Draft

The entire hockey and sporting world was hit with a curveball yesterday after hearing that Ottawa Senators’ General Manager Bryan Murray has been diagnosed with cancer and will be away from the team while he recuperates.

This goes beyond the game, and no matter what team you are a fan of, we can all route for a full and speedy recover for Murray. Best wishes to him and his family as they prepare for this very difficult time.

The Chicago Blackhawks appear to be nearing a deal with their two megastar players who have helped them to two Stanley Cup victories and a Western Conference Finals appearance last season.

Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews appear to be set to sign identical contracts with a cap hit of $10.8 million per year, which we would have to assume would be over a span of the maximum eight years. The cap hit will make them the highest paid players in terms of AAV in the league.

While they are two of the better players in the world, signing both to such a high contract in salary cap era will certainly come with some risks. The Pittsburgh Penguins are certainly learning the error of their ways, as they struggle to put a surrounding cast around their stars of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Blackhawks management has shown the ability to continually develop supporting players and as long as that trend continues these deals shouldn’t be as big a deal.

Next year’s draft will be hosted by the Florida Panthers, and history will be made next during it. Due to the lockout, Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin both hit the league at the same time and the media made it a ‘de-facto’ rivalry that turned into a real one.

The 2015 draft class will bring about two players with the potential to bring the same star power in Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. Both played a role for their countries at the previous World Junior Hockey Championship, McDavid for Canada and Eichel for the Americans.

As it has been a thrill to watch the Crosby-Ovechkin rivalry evolve, it will be interesting to watch the McDavid-Eichel one develop.

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Tags: 2015 NHL Draft Bryan Murray Connor McDavid Florida Panthers Jack Eichel Jonathan Toews Patrick Kane

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