Wednesday, October 7, 2020

NHL Trade Review: Senators get their goalie in Murray

 


       The Ottawa Senators have acquired goalie Matt Murray from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for forward Jon Gruden and a 2020 2nd round pick (52nd overall). 

       After the best GAA for a Senators goalie was 3.12 last year, the Senators were in the market for a new starter. While Murray had a rough 2019-20, he had a .919 save percentage in 2018-19, so he can still recover. The Senators will be the team signing Murray's new deal, as he is an RFA. The two-time Cup winner will become Ottawa's starter immediately, and is primed for a comeback season, although being traded to a bottom-five team in the league won't help. Giving up the second round pick (originally from Columbus, acquired in the Ryan Dzingel deal of 2019) plus Gruden is a high price, but with the Senators' insane amount of picks in this year's draft, it is worth it. 

        Murray, 26, had an .899 save percentage with a 2.87 GAA in 38 games for the Penguins in 2019-20. In his NHL career, all in Pittsburgh, Murray has a .914 save percentage with a 2.67 GAA in 199 games.

       With the Penguins' cap issues and Tristan Jarry's emergence, one of either Jarry and Murray, both RFAs, were going to go. It was confirmed to be Murray when Jarry signed a three year extension on October 3rd. Murray has won Pittsburgh a pair of Stanley Cups, but it was time to move on. They get a really good deal for a 26 year old RFA coming off of career worsts. A 2018 4th round pick, Gruden put up impressive numbers in the OHL this past season. Their prospect pool is thin, so adding Gruden and whoever they draft later today (UPDATE: Pittsburgh selected G Joel Blomqvist) is a big bonus.

       Gruden, 20, scored 30 goals with 36 assists for 66 points in 59 games for the London Knights of the OHL in 2019-20. The season before for the University of Miami (Ohio), Gruden scored three goals with 12 assists for 15 points in 38 games. 

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