The Ottawa Senators acquired Matt Murray from the Pittsburgh Penguins to be their No. 1 goalie. Photo by @penguins (Twitter).
- The Ottawa Senators have +10000 odds to win the Stanley Cup after acquiring Stanley Cup-winning goalie Matt Murray from the Pittsburgh Penguins.
- Murray will replace Craig Anderson as the Senators’ number one goalie in Ottawa
- See the Stanley Cup odds after this trade and Day 1 of the 2020 NHL Draft
The Ottawa Senators continued to be a mover and shaker in the NHL Draft by acquiring Matt Murray to be their number one goalie. They gave up prospect Jonathan Gruden and a 2020 second-round draft pick.
On Friday, the Senators had three first round picks and drafted German Tim Stutzle (No. 3), considered the best skater in the draft. At No. 5, the Senators claimed Jake Sanderson, considered either the best or second-best defenceman. Late in the first round, Ottawa GM Pierre Dorian selected Ridly Grieg, the grittiest forward in the draft.
The Senators owned the NHL’s second-worst record (25-34-12) in 2019-20, but now have one of the league’s best collections of prospects. In the short term, the Senators are +10000 in the Stanley Cup odds.
2021 Stanley Cup Odds
|Vegas Golden Knights||+950|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+950|
|St. Louis Blues||+1800|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+1900|
|New York Islanders||+2600|
|New York Rangers||+2600|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+3800|
|San Jose Sharks||+4000|
|Los Angeles Kings||+5500|
|New Jersey Devils||+5500|
|Detroit Red Wings||+11000|
Odds taken Oct. 7 at FanDuel.
Murray Can’t Transform the Senators in One Season
At 26, Murray is young enough to be the Senators’ starting goalie for several years. General manager Pierre Dorion’s hope is that Murray will be in net when the Senators are Stanley Cup contenders.
However, that won’t be for a while.
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
If Murray performs like he did when helping the Penguins win back-to-back Stanley Cup championships, he can help the young Senators be more competitive immediately. This is a goalie who owns a career playoff goals-against average (GAA) of 2.18 and a save percentage of .921. When the Penguins won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017, he posted GAAs of 2.08 and 1.70.
The only concern for the Senators is that Murray is coming off a poor season during which he had a save percentage of .899. When the Penguins had to choose between Murray and Tristan Jarry, they chose Jarry.
The Senators still have to sign Murray, but that isn’t expected to be a problem.
Penguins Won’t Regret Goalie Decision
The Penguins expect Murray to be effective for the Senators who have young players needing the confidence that comes from having consistency in net.
That being said, the Penguins are happy to retain Jarry who outplayed Murray last season. Jarry had a 2.43 GAA, compared to Murray’s 2.87.
The Penguins recently signed Jarry to a three-year contract worth $3.5 million per season. It’s likely Murray will want more and receive more, but this was more than an economic decision.
Tristan Jarry’s Penguins arc is wild. Heir apparent to MAF > surpassed on organizational depth chart by Murray > team unsuccessfully tries to deal him last summer > sticks with big club solely due to contract considerations > becomes NHL All-Star > stays over Murray as No. 1.
— Angie (@acarducci) October 7, 2020
The expectation is the Penguins will be looking for an inexpensive veteran to pair with Jarry. If the Golden Knights buy out Marc-Andre Fleury, the Penguins might consider him.
With Tristan Jarry as their primary goaltender, the Penguins still believe they can contend.
Gruden Potentially a Sleeper for Penguins
Acquired in the Matt Murray trade, the Penguins believe forward Jonathan Gruden has NHL in his blood. His father Jon played in the NHL briefly and is a New York Islanders assistant coach.
The younger Gruden isn’t ready for the NHL yet, but scored 30 goals for London in the Ontario Hockey League last season.
Jonathan Gruden on his dad’s reaction to the trade [his dad is an assistant coach for the Islanders]: “He was the first person that I called. He said Pittsburgh has great players, organization, and coaches. You couldn’t ask for anything more. Our whole family is excited.”
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 7, 2020
The Murray Deal Will Pay Off More in 2021-22
With the talent the Senators have in the pipeline, and the addition of Murray and Friday’s first rounders, the Senators boast the NHL’s best collection of skilled youngsters. They will probably push toward a .500 record next season, and then be a playoff team in 2021-22.
Kevin Allen has covered most major events, including the Olympics, Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final. He covered the NHL for USA Today from 1986-2020, receiving the Lester Patrick Award in 2013 and was honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014 with the Elmer Ferguson Award.