The suitors are all at home. The NHL playoffs have reached the conference finals, and none of the remaining teams are involved in the potential Penguins trade sweepstakes for Matt Murray. As the Colorado Avalanche conduct their exit interviews, all of the teams will be able to come to the table officially.
On Saturday, there was one social media post that went viral. The post indicated former Hockey Night in Canada host Nick Kypreos reported the Colorado Avalanche made contact with the Penguins at the deadline and began working towards a deal for the draft.
We’re not sure if Kypreos said it, and he didn’t have any social media posts on the subject, but we do know the post was almost verbatim from our story in March and our more in-depth story with additional sources in May. So, the NHL rumor mill is churning.
Yesterday, we ranked the goalie trade and free market. Based on our projections, Murray has become the second most sought after goalie on the market and could become the top goalie if and when Vegas Golden Knights re-sign Robin Lehner. (PHN apologizes at is appears our AI editing program changed Holtby to “Holby.” We fixed the issue and feel shame).
PHN does believe Colorado remains interested in Murray, and Penguins trade talks will begin if they have not all ready.
Potential Penguins Trade Partners
1. Colorado Avalanche
There isn’t a team on the list which is closer to the Stanley Cup. If injuries did not decimate the Colorado lineup during their Round Two series against the Dallas Stars, Colorado would likely have advanced.
As PHN initially reported, Colorado is not sold on Grubauer, who has one year left on his contract. Murray could be the Stanley Cup winner who injects experience and a bit of attitude in Colorado.
Colorado has the 24th overall pick, in addition to a handful of top-tier prospects, such as Bow Byram and Alex Newhook. Penguins GM Jim Rutherford will likely test Colorado GM, Joe Sakic. Just how badly does Colorado want Murray?
2. Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto is perhaps the most surprising team on the Penguins trade potentials list. Toronto has a stellar goalie, Frederick Andersen, but the blue and white feel its time for a change. Toronto GM Kyle Dubas is not a wallflower when it comes to making trades, and it especially adept at working magic with the salary cap. Pierre LeBrun of TSN reported Dubas was interested in Murray, as the pair have ties that go back to Murray’s junior career in Sault Ste. Marie, where Dubas was the GM.
3. Calgary Flames
Calgary has the most intriguing potential trade pieces, including Sam Bennett and Oliver Kylington. However, there hasn’t been much smoke around Calgary (pun intended).
There are a couple of second-tier prospects in the Calgary universe, as well. If the Penguins do not get the knockout offer they want, Calgary has a deep pool.
4. Edmonton Oilers
Like Calgary, Edmonton has needs in net and is a team ready to take the next step. We looked at the Edmonton trade potentials, and it’s also an exciting pool of prospects and young players if Edmonton pursues Murray.
5. Buffalo Sabres
Buffalo has a lot of talent, which hasn’t necessarily lived up to its promise. Players like Sam Reinhart and Rasmus Ristolainen haven’t fulfilled their high-draft pick expectations, but they also have healthy contracts. The Buffalo – Penguins trade connection may have died when Buffalo cleaned house earlier this offseason. The Pegulas terminated GM Jason Botterill along with most of his people, several of whom had ties to the Penguins.
Buffalo does have talent, including Jack Eichel and Rasmus Dahlin. So, they have a core to build around. They need a goalie. How about a mid-20s netminder with a pair of flashy rings?
6. Ottawa Senators
We must admit, we’re not entirely sold on this match. Ottawa finished with the second-worst record in the NHL, though they were a pesky team with a high compete level. Goalie Craig Anderson is likely to retire or hang around for another year as a mentor and backup. Ottawa has 24-year-old Marcus Hogberg who got his first real taste of NHL action last season.
Hogberg was not sparkling in his first NHL run, but is Ottawa close enough to their next steps to splash prospects or productive NHL pieces? Perhaps Chris Tierney would fit as the Penguins third-line center, or Nikita Zaitsev, the Penguins third-pair defenseman. However, those are not the most attractive options.
Ottawa owns the New York Islanders first-round pick, which is getting lower. New York’s pick will be 28th if they lose in the Eastern Conference Final or 30th or 31st if they advance to the Stanley Cup Final.
Perhaps that pick is a good baseline for Murray discussions.
7. Minnesota Wild
In his press conference after the Minnesota Wild was eliminated from the NHL postseason, Minnesota GM Bill Geurin bluntly said his team needs better goaltending. Cue the NHL trade rumors.
We explored what Minnesota may have to offer.
There is a strong connection between Guerin and the Penguins. He served as Penguins AGM from 2014-2019, but we have a tough time matching the teams unless Minnesota wants to give back the Penguins 2021 first-round pick, which Minnesota acquired in the Jason Zucker trade.