Everyone knew the Pittsburgh Penguins were set on trading goaltender Matt Murray, and now it has happened. Murray on Wednesday was shipped to the Ottawa Senators for prospect Jonathan Gruden and a second-round pick in the 2020 draft.
The trade happened just before the second round kicked off.
Murray helped the Penguins win the Stanley Cup in 2016 and 2017, both technically as a rookie. But his play slipped some after that in his first full seasons as a No. 1 goalie. He fell behind Tristan Jarry, who recently received a contract extension. The Penguins had extended a qualifying offer to Murray, a restricted free agent, earlier this week, to retain his rights and enable them to move him.
Negotiating a new contract with Murray now falls on the shoulders of the Senators.
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) October 7, 2020
“We would like to thank Matt for everything he’s done in his five seasons with the Penguins,” general manager Jim Rutherford said in a team news release. “He was instrumental to our back-to-back Stanley Cup championships, and we wish him the best.”
Gruden, 20, was a fourth-round pick by Ottawa in 2018. A 6-foot, 180-pound center from Rochester, Mich., he spent one disappointing college season as Miami (Ohio), with three goals and 12 assists in 38 games in 2018-19 after playing in the U.S. developmental program. Last season, he blossomed with 30 goals, 36 assists in 59 games with London in the junior Ontario Hockey League.
Gruden seems destined for Wilkes-Barre of the American Hockey League for a season or two. He’s an all-around center who is strong on short-range shots and can play down low or net-front on the power play. He’s not overly speedy.
His father, John Gruden, is an assistant coach with the New York Islanders.
The Penguins will be making a second-round pick in Wednesday’s draft after the trade. They previously did not have one in that round.