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Senators Place Matt Murray on Waivers

The Ottawa Senators have placed Matt Murray on waivers in the second year of a four-year extension he signed in 2020.

A little over a year after arriving, Matt Murray is potentially on his way out of the Nation's Capital. 

The Ottawa Senators placed the two-time Stanley Cup winner on waivers Saturday afternoon, possibly spelling an end to Murray's tenure as a Senator less than two years into the four-year contract extension he signed with the team in October of 2020. 

The decision, while eye-opening due to the financials at stake, is not all that surprising. 

Murray has been among the worst starting goaltenders in the NHL for the past two seasons, putting together a .899 save percentage with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2019-20, a .893 save percentage with the Senators in 2021, and following it up with a .890 through six games this season. 

Those aren't exactly the numbers befitting of a franchise goaltender. And considering how the Senators are paying Murray $6.25 million per season until 2024, that's what they signed him to be. 

It's a significant fall from grace for one of the most intriguing players in recent NHL history. 

Murray burst onto the scene in Pittsburgh back in 2015, leading the Penguins to back-to-back Stanley Cups in his rookie and sophomore seasons before he was even eligible for the Calder Trophy. The next few years, however, saw Murray's play slowly decline, before the 2019-20 season featured a drop-off of dramatic proportions. 

Given his poor play, cap hit, and the term left on his deal, it's unlikely that another NHL team claims Murray in the next 24 hours. What lies ahead for him is likely a stretch in the AHL, done to allow Murray to re-gain his confidence as a professional goaltender, and, potentially, showcase his value to prospective other teams. 

It's a disastrous series of events for the Senators, who paid significant assets -- both financial and personnel-wise -- to bring Murray in as the backstop for their young core. 

Regardless, Murray's future will become more clear tomorrow at 2PM EST. 

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