Matt Murray to OTT
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) October 7, 2020
Pittsburgh Penguins Trade Matt Murray
The Penguins complete another off-season trade this time involving a goaltender. The Ottawa Senators acquire goaltender Matt Murray. As Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said he would do, he traded one of his goalies. As part of the deal,
It is no surprise the Penguins have traded Murray to the Senators. The Penguins have been trying to trade Murray for over a year now. Murray was on the trade block last season, but there were no takers. Now facing a salary-cap crunch the Penguins were forced to move him. Not to mention the emergence of Tristan Jarry, made general manager Jim Rutherford’s decision a little easier.
Murray has been excellent for the Penguins since being drafted by the Penguins in the third round 83rd overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. Even before being called up to the big club, Murray was excellent in the AHL for Wilks-Barre Scranton. He set all kinds of records and was the heir apparent to the throne in Pittsburgh. Murray and then Penguins goalie Marc Andre Fleury became one of the best tandems in the league. Once Murray started his first playoff game in 2016, he never gave the net back to Fleury.
The combination of Murray and Fleury led the Penguins to two-Stanley Cup Championships in 2016 and 2017. In 2017, Murray was injured for parts of that season and Fleury came in to right the ship through the first two rounds of the playoffs. Murray came back in and the Penguins won another Stanley Cup.
Unfortunately, for the Penguins they can’t sign Murray to a new deal as his play has been on the decline since those two seasons. For his career, Murray in 199 career games, Murray has a 2.67 goals-against average and .914 save percentage. His best season came in 2016-17 when he had a 2.41 goals-against average and .923 save percentage. Murray continues to be injured and Tristan Jarry has shown during the 2019-20 season, he can carry the load for the Penguins.
The Penguins are in a good position with their goaltending. Not only do they Jarry, but they have Casey DeSmith as well. Jarry will need a new contract as he is an RFA this season. Expect he will get a bump up, hence why Murray had to be traded to the Senators. Besides, DeSmith makes nothing and with a flat salary cap for this season, every dollar counts. The Penguins are still in win-now mode and Rutherford knows this. This is Jarry’s team now as evident in the playoffs when he took over for Murray.
The Penguins have depth at this position hence why they could trade Murray. Plus with the logistics of a flat cap makes it easier for them to trade a free-agent and get assets back to make their team better. And in this day and age when teams are in when now mode it is easier to trade free-agents then re-sign. Every penny counts and Rutherford knows this better than anyone. Murray will make the Senators better, as he has shown the ability to bounce back and play as he did in 2017.
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