The Ottawa Senators announced Monday that they traded goaltender Matt Murray, a 2023 third-round pick and a 2024 seventh-round pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Senators receive future considerations in return and retain 25 percent of Murray's outstanding salary. The 28-year-old is due to earn $6.3 million annually over the next two seasons.
It appears getting off Murray's contract—or at least the bulk of it—was the primary concern for Ottawa.
Although the trade says that the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Sens?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Sens</a> received "Future Considerations" in return, the real advantage and motivation for Ottawa in making this deal is the $11,250,000 in actual salary that the club saved on the final two years of Matt Murray's contract.<a href="https://t.co/xIbYAuYoMJ">https://t.co/xIbYAuYoMJ</a> <a href="https://t.co/iOQ54oWRDt">https://t.co/iOQ54oWRDt</a>
This brings an end to his dreadful two-year spell in Ottawa. He had a .899 save percentage and a 3.23 goals-against average in 47 games.
Murray also disclosed in May he suffered a concussion midway through the 2021-22 season. His last appearance was an 8-5 defeat to the Arizona Coyotes on March 5. Going forward, that raises obvious concerns considering he had multiple concussions during his Pittsburgh Penguins run.
Despite the fact that they're getting Murray at a slight discount and collecting two draft picks for their trouble, the downside risk of this swap for the Maple Leafs might not be worth it.
Justin Bourne @jtbourne
Boy I do not get the Murray thing. Trade screams analytics people throwing up their hands and going “Nobody can figure out who’s a good goalie anyway, maybe Murray bounces back and hey, free assets” or something. But Matt Murray at $4.68x2, I just cannot believe that’s the plan.
Fans are likely to be frustrated if this is the succession plan for Jack Campbell, too. Campbell, who boasted a .914 save percentage and a 2.64 goals-against average this year, is an unrestricted free agent.
Maybe the 30-year-old is paid handsomely elsewhere, but plenty will argue re-signing him instead of acquiring Murray was the more sensible route.
Per TSN's Pierre LeBrun, Toronto's search for a goaltender won't stop with Murray. The Leafs "will look at what's out there."
Perhaps general manager Kyle Dubas has something up his sleeve that will put Monday's transaction into a different context. For now, the Dubas will have to work overtime to win over the skeptics.