It didn’t take the Ottawa Senators long to lock up former Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray. He received an extension Friday that is reportedly for four years with an annual salary cap hit of $6.25 million.
Murray was heading for unrestricted free agency. The Penguins qualified him, but that was procedural as they fully intended to move him. They chose Tristan Jarry over Murray. Jarry, who also was a pending restricted free agent, was given a contract extension that covers three seasons with a $3.5 million cap hit.
On Wednesday, the Penguins shipped Matt Murray to the Senators for prospect Jonathan Gruden and a second-round pick in the 2020 draft.
Murray, who apparently got a trade protection clause included in his new deal, got a deal that would have been too rich for the Penguins given a salary cap that is stagnant during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Matt Murray has a standard 10 team No Move clause. #Sens
— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) October 9, 2020
Although the cap hit and term would seem appropriate for a two-time Stanley Cup champion who is just 26 years old, that does not take into account the huge goalie market this offseason or the fact that Murray’s numbers fell off the past three seasons, since he became the clear, full-time No. 1 starter for the Penguins.
Initial reaction on social media seemed to indicate some surprise at the deal.
Have a feeling Matt Murray's agent is going to get some more business.
— Chip Alexander (@ice_chip) October 9, 2020
Big contract for Matt Murray in Ottawa. The RFA signed a 4-year, $25M deal ($6.25M AAV)
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) October 9, 2020
Giving Matt Murray more than $6 million a year is… something.
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) October 9, 2020
Matt Murray got $25 million? pic.twitter.com/TmvLqA7giv
— Paul Ross (@RealPaulRoss) October 9, 2020
The deal also put Murray in some good company,.
Most comparable contracts to Matt Murray
4 years $6.25M AAV #Senators
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) October 9, 2020