Photo: The Fourth Period
The Pittsburgh Penguins announced on Wednesday morning that they traded goaltender Matt Murray to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for the 52nd overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft and forward prospect John Gruden. Murray can become a restricted free agent on Friday.
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
The Penguins made it known that they were trying to trade a goalie following their four-game series loss to the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers. After they re-signed pending RFA Tristan Jarry to a three-year contract that carries a cap hit of $3.5 million last week, it was clear that Murray was out the door.
The 26-year-old went 20-11-5 with an .899 save percentage, a 2.87 goals-against average, and one shutout during the 2019-20 regular season, where he lost the starter’s job to Jarry, and 1-2-0 with a .914 save percentage and a 2.50 goals-against average in the Qualifying Round.
Since Murray is a restricted free agent, the Penguins do not lose any cap space as a result of the trade and have just $4,718,158 remaining in cap space. The word is that GM Jim Rutherford wants to sign a defenseman in free agency.
In 199 career regular-season games, all with the Penguins, Murray is 117-53-19 with a .914 save percentage, a 2.67 goals-against average, and 11 shutouts. He led the Penguins to back-to-back Stanley Cups as a rookie twice. He is 29-21 with a .921 save percentage, a 2.18 goals-against average, and six shutouts in his Stanley Cup Playoff career.
The Senators find their goalie in Murray as Craig Anderson is set to hit unrestricted free agency on Friday and will most likely not return. The team’s .9166 team save percentage last season was ranked 17th in the NHL. The team finished the regular season 30th in the NHL with 62 points.
Gruden, 20, recorded 30 goals, 66 points, and a +23 rating in 59 games with the OHL’s London Knights. He was drafted 95th overall by the Senators in the 2018 NHL Draft.
By Harrison Brown