Senators trade Matt Murray, draft picks to Maple Leafs for future considerations

By CityNews Staff

The Maple Leafs have acquired Matt Murray in a trade with the Ottawa Senators as Toronto looks to restock its goaltending depth.

The trade is for future considerations. The Senators are also sending a third-round pick in 2023 and a seventh-round pick to Toronto.

The Senators are retaining 25 per cent of Murray's salary $6.25 million annual cap hit (and $15 million in total salary) for the next two seasons, meaning Murray will account for a $4.68 million cap hit on Toronto's books.

Murray, 28, lost the starting net in Ottawa to Anton Forsberg last season and at one point cleared waivers and spent time in the American Hockey League. The two-time Stanley Cup champion had a 5-12-2 record in 20 starts last season with a .906 save percentage, a slight improvement after two seasons of a save percentage below .900.

By joining the Maple Leafs, Murray will reunite with some familiar faces from his Ontario Hockey League days. Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas and head coach Sheldon Keefe worked with Murray with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds nearly a decade ago and Leafs goalie evaluator and developer Jon Elkin has worked with Murray for many years.

“There are a lot of people who think Matt Murray still has the ability,” Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman said on the latest episode of 32 Thoughts: The Podcast, citing sources who know Murray and others who don't. “They think that he has addressed some structural flaws that he has had in his game, in terms of moving side to side, that (people) think make him a better goaltender now.

“The biggest question that they have about Murray is, can he stay healthy?”

The move almost certainly means Jack Campbell will not be returning to the Maple Leafs net next season but more moves could be coming. After Petr Mrazek was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks last week, Erik Källgren is next in line in net for Toronto with Joseph Woll also in the organization.

The Senators nearly traded Murray to the Sabres at the draft, reportedly along with the seventh-overall pick, but the goaltender used his no-trade clause to block the move. The Senators later included the seventh-overall pick in a trade package to land Alex DeBrincat from the Chicago Blackhawks.

In other Senators news, the team is not sending qualifying offers to defenceman Victor Mete and forward Adam Gaudette, general manager Pierre Dorion announced on Monday, July 11, making them both unrestricted free agents come Wednesday, July 13. 

The Senators have, however, submitted qualifying offers to forwards Josh Norris, Mathieu Joseph and Alex Formenton, and defenceman Erik Brannstrom.

Mete, coming off a one-year, $1.2-million contract, played 37 games for the Senators last season, finishing the campaign with seven assists and a minus-19 rating.

The 24-year-old began his career in Montreal after the Canadiens drafted him 100th overall in 2016. He played in parts of four seasons with the franchise before the Senators claimed him off waivers in April 2021.

Gaudette joined the Senators last season, also off waivers, and produced 12 points in 50 games. The 25-year-old began his career with the Vancouver Canucks, with whom he had his best season to date in 2019-20, when he registered 12 goals and 21 assists in 59 games.

He was then traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2020-21 before the Senators claimed him.

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