Senators trade Matt Murray, picks to Maple Leafs for future considerations

Posted: 11/07/2022 in NHL
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The Ottawa Senators traded goaltender Matt Murray and two picks to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for future considerations, both teams announced Monday.

Murray has two more seasons on his deal at a cap hit of $6.25 million, but Ottawa will retain 25% of the 28-year-old’s salary as part of the agreement. He will cost just under $4.69 million against the Leafs’ books per season.

Toronto will receive the Senators’ third-round selection in 2023 and a seventh-round pick in 2024.

Murray won back-to-back Stanley Cup championships as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017, becoming the first goaltender to accomplish the feat as a rookie in the process. He owns a sterling .921 save percentage and 2.18 goals against average in 51 career playoff appearances.

However, he was unable to live up to expectations after signing his current four-year, $25-million contract with the Senators in October 2020. Injuries marred his two-season tenure in Ottawa: Murray was only able to suit up for 47 games in Canada’s capital, where he authored a .899 save percentage and 3.23 GAA.

Murray saw a slight uptick in performance this past season after logging a career-worst 3.38 GAA in 2020-21. He sported a .906 save percentage and 3.05 GAA in 2021-22 while putting up one shutout in 20 showings.

A non-COVID-19 illness sidelined him to begin the campaign, kicking things off on the wrong foot. He then suited up for two games before sustaining a head injury. Murray eventually returned to action for another three contests before testing positive for COVID-19.

Then the team placed him on waivers and sent him to the AHL in November. At the time, Murray said he felt the Senators were making him the scapegoat for their early-season struggles.

“I do, yeah. I also think that’s part of what you sign up for as a goalie. I think that comes with the territory,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve been bad, but I haven’t been good enough to win.”

Murray returned to the crease in the NHL in January and improved markedly before being forced to miss the Senators’ remaining 29 games of the season. He rocked a 2.96 GAA and .912 save percentage during his final 14 appearances of the campaign.

The Penguins’ third-round selection in 2012 owns a career 2.77 GAA and a .911 save percentage in 246 NHL games.

Murray played junior hockey with the OHL’s Soo Greyhounds under current Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas and head coach Sheldon Keefe.

The Maple Leafs will reportedly be hunting for another cheaper goaltender, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun. Pending unrestricted free-agent goaltender Jack Campbell was Toronto’s starter in 2021-22, and he’ll now almost certainly hit the open market on July 13.

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