One of the toughest things that a person can endure is losing a family member, especially when it's seemingly not their time. Such a thing happened to Matt Murray this month, as we know, he lost his father James and took a personal leave from the team to cope with this terrible tragedy.
He's since returned to the team and practiced, but isn't ready to play just yet.
Jason Mackey from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette revealed that this was in fact the third parental death suffered by a player in the Penguins' organization this season.
Here's an excerpt from a recent article by Mackey:
"Rutherford pointed out that this is – amazingly, sadly – the third parental death the Penguins have experienced this season.
In Wilkes-Barre, Garrett Wilson lost his mom, Thomas Di Pauli his father.
'It has certainly been difficult,' Rutherford said."
Wilson and DiPauli were former draft picks of the Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals respectively.
One thing that has been made abundantly clear is how much of a first-class organization the Penguins are, amidst these personal tragedies.
Another excerpt from Jason Mackey's article:
"Don’t know how exactly the Penguins made sure Murray got from Anaheim to Thunder Bay, but I can guarantee you the organization did everything in its power, sparing no expense.
I asked Rutherford whether co-owner Ron Burkle got involved, perhaps offering his private jet, but Rutherford said he didn’t want to get into that.
'When he needed to go home, we immediately set up plans and got him back there,' Rutherford said."
Mackey also mentioned that the player treatment in Pittsburgh is so top notch, that players around the league have expressed jealousy over the matter. It's a great comfort for a person when they are apart of an organization that genuinely and deeply cares for the well-being of all its employees.
Pittsburgh probably goes uncontested for classiest organization in the National Hockey League.