Added to the Ottawa Senators’ draft week haul: a 26-year-old two-time Stanley Cup winning netminder, who should have a sizeable chip on his shoulder.
Just moments before the start of Round 2 at the NHL Draft, the Senators acquired Matt Murray from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a second-round pick, 52nd overall, as well as forward prospect Jonathan Gruden.
TRADE ALERT 🚨: The Penguins have acquired forward Jonathan Gruden and a 2020 second-round draft pick (52nd overall) from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Matt Murray. pic.twitter.com/lag06QAFaU— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 7, 2020
Murray is a restricted free agent and is currently arbitration eligible. He could step into unrestricted free agency next summer if the Senators are unable to sign him to a long-term agreement.
There was really no excuse for the Senators to not strengthen the goaltending position in a crowded market this offseason, but this feels like a truly superb acquisition for the club, which spent one of four second-round selections to acquire a proven starter.
Murray’s stock has fallen since the back-to-back Stanley Cup seasons to begin his NHL career back in 2016, and he surrendered his starting position in Pittsburgh to Tristan Jarry almost as quick as he took it from Marc-Andre Fleury. But the Penguins’ decision to move on has more to do with Jarry’s emergence, as well as the budget limitations in Pittsburgh, then it is about Murray’s capabilities.
There’s no reason to believe that Murray can’t put one difficult season behind him and offer the Senators plus netminding while they continue on their rebuild and beyond.
Murray will slot in immediately ahead of Anders Nilsson and Marcus Hogberg, the two NHL-capable netminders on the Senators’ current depth chart.
Ottawa spent its three first-round draft selections on Tim Stuetzle, Jake Sanderson and Ridly Grieg, and have eight more picks to make on Day 2 after spending one to acquire Murray.
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