Senators sold Murray to Maple Leafs

Matt Murray He said he’s focused and has a lot to prove with the Toronto Maple Leafs after his time with the Ottawa Senators didn’t go as planned.

The 28-year-old goalkeeper and two-time Stanley Cup winner for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017 was traded to Toronto by Ottawa on Monday for future considerations. He was 15-25-3 with 3.23 goals-to-average, .899 savings and three closes in 47 games (45 starts) over two seasons with the Senators.

“I think coming here, that’s where I wanted to be,” Murray said on Tuesday. “I have a familiarity with a lot of people out there and they have an incredible support team that I will really depend on. It’s all about pushing myself to be the best I can be and I think Toronto is a great place to do that. Lots of excitement on my part.

“In the short time since I’ve become official, I’ve had a lot of staff that I reach out to who are willing to help with literally every aspect of my move and make things really simple.”

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Murray was 5-12-2 with a 3.05 GAA and .906 savings percentage and one closing in 20 games for the Senators this season. He has two seasons left on a four-year, $25 million contract (average annual value of $6.25 million) signed with Ottawa on October 9, 2020.

Toronto also received a third-round selection in 2023 NHL Draft and a seventh-round selection in 2024 NHL Draft. Ottawa will keep 25 percent of Murray’s salary as part of the trade.

“My time in Ottawa, I don’t think it went as anyone expected,” Murray said. “But at this point in time, I’m just focused on the present and the near future and now that’s really busy for me. Just moving myself and my family to Toronto first and foremost, joining the team around the facility and guys as fast as I can and trying to get to know everyone, so that’s kind out of my focus now.”

Murray was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario, about 850 miles northwest of Toronto.

“It was definitely my childhood favorite team, it was my dad’s favorite team, and we’d watch games together,” Murray said. “Just being able to wear this shirt for the first time would be really special for me as it is for a lot of people, especially for the little kid who grew up in Ontario.”

Maple Leafs General Manager Kyle Dupas and coach Sheldon know how Murray is all too well. Murray played with Salt St. Mary is from the Ontario Hockey League for three seasons when Dubas was the junior general manager. Keefe trained Murray in Sault Ste. Mary starts in the middle of the 2012-13 season until the end of 2013-14.

John Elkin, who works for the Maple Leafs team in goalkeeper assessment and development, runs a goalkeeper school that Murray began attending, he said, at about age 10.

“I know I’m grateful to be familiar with these guys and I’m really looking forward to working with all of these guys again,” Murray said. “They know me from the past and I think they are a group that will really be able to help push me and help me maximize my potential.

“(John) knows me very well, he knows my game very well and he knows how to push me. I think he can give a lot of ideas in all of these things.”

Murray was acquired by the Senators in a deal with the Penguins on October 7, 2020. Last season he was 10-13-1 with his NHL career – worst 3.38 GAA and .893 savings in 27 games (25 starts). This season he started 0-5-0 with 3.26 GAA and .890 percentage saves before being put on waivers on November 27 and assigned to Belleville of the NHL the next day.

His performance improved after being called up from Belleville, going 5-7-2 with a 2.96 GAA and 0.912 save percentage before injury forced him to miss his last 29 games in Ottawa.

“We are grateful for Matt’s contributions and wish him well,” said Senate Director General Pierre Dorion.

Murray was selected by Pittsburgh in the third round (#83) of the 2012 NHL Draft, a 132-78-22 with 2.77 GAA, .911 saves and 14 closes in 246 games (238 starts) for the Penguins and Senators. He is 29-21 with a 2.18 GAA, .921 savings percentage and six lockups in 51 Stanley Cup games (50 starts).

In Toronto, Murray will be tasked with filling the void left by him Jack Campbellwho can become an unrestricted free agent Wednesday, and Peter Marazekwho traded with the Chicago Blackhawks on July 7, and helped the Maple Leafs win a playoff tour for the first time since 2004.

“The great thing those cup rounds have taught me is that it’s all about the day-to-day process,” Murray said. “The end result is exactly that, the end result of a continuous daily effort, just apply yourself as much as you can every day. This is the approach I have always taken and this is the approach I intend to take again to try and push myself.”

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