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Maple Leafs Acquire Matt Murray from Senators

The Toronto Maple Leafs have filled their vacant crease by acquiring goaltender Matt Murray from the Ottawa Senators.
Matt Murray

The Toronto Maple Leafs have seemingly found their goaltender. 

The Maple Leafs made a move to fill their vacant crease on Monday night, acquiring Matt Murray from the Ottawa Senators along with a 2023 third-round pick and a 2024 seventh-round pick in exchange for future considerations. 

As per the terms of the trade, the Senators will retain 25 percent of Murray's remaining salary, meaning that the netminder will count for $4.6875 million against Toronto's cap for the next two years. 

It's a bold move that comes with a massive amount of risk. 

Murray has certainly had an odd career since bursting onto the scene back in 2015. 

The former Soo Greyhound kicked off his NHL career with two straight Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh, helping the Penguins become the first team of the salary cap era to repeat as champions and even setting the stage for the organization to move on from goaltending mainstay Marc-Andre Fleury in the process. 

In the years following those Cups, though, Murray's play began to slip somewhat, bottoming out in 2019-20 with a .899 save percentage that precipitated his trade to the Senators. 

And in Ottawa, Murray hit rock bottom. Injuries followed him around from the moment he arrived in the Nation's Capital and sidelined him for long stretches of his first season with the club. On the rare occasions when he did hit the ice, Murray was abysmal, posting a .893 save percentage in 2021 while looking like a shell of himself. 

The 2021-22 season offered some glimpses of hope, however. Despite the .899 save percentage he finished with, Murray actually posted a .912 from Jan. 1 until the end of the season, albeit fitting in a brief AHL demotion in the process. 

There is some hope that Murray can regain his form when surrounded by the Maple Leafs' superior defense. It's a bet that may very well be what makes or breaks Kyle Dubas' tenure with the team, as the Leafs' GM is making a very risky swing on a player that once played for his Greyhounds. 

Only time will tell whether or not it pays off. 

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