After a season of speculation, junior Doug Murray and freshman David LeNeveu of the men’s hockey team have announced their intentions of signing professional contracts this spring. Murray, who was named Ivy League Player of the Year, runner-up to ECAC Player of the Year and one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in 1999. LeNeveu, the top collegiate goalie not yet drafted, will likely sign with whichever team takes him.
The two announcements come after Cornell’s most successful season in the last five years. The team boasted a record of 25-8-2 (17-3-2 in the ECAC) but lost in the NCAA quarterfinals to No. 1 UNH.
“Obviously we are disappointed with both Doug’s and David’s decisions. We will miss them as players and people,” head coach Mike Schafer ’86 said. “I wish both of them luck.”
When asked about whether the team would be able to repeat its success from this year, Schafer was beyond speech.
“We’ll manage, somehow,” were his only words.
Murray, who was inspired to seek a professional contract after the NESN sportscasters intimated that he would not stay for a senior year, is excited about joining the Sharks.
“We were really impressed with Doug’s performance on the power play, and actually, all-around, ” San Jose GM Dean Lombardi said. “But what capped it for us was the hit on the kid from RPI.”
“I’m excited to play with my countryman, Niklas Sundstrom,” Murray said, adding, “the weather there is a lot nicer, too.”
LeNeveu, who finished the season with the lowest goals against average in the country is expecting a lucrative signing bonus comparable to Rick DiPietro who left Boston University for the Islanders after his rookie season.
“Yeah, I feel bad about abandoning the team — they’re pretty screwed. But an opportunity like this doesn’t come along very often,” LeNeveu said. “Who knows what would happen if I waited?”
Schafer left yesterday to scour British Columbia for a new goalie and defenseman.
The Doug Murray section will retire the Swedish flag in honor of the departure of its favorite player in a ceremony tomorrow at 3:00 p.m.
EDITOR’S NOTE: April Fools! We got you this time. This story is not real.
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