Now I know what you're thinking, there's no way this could happen right? I'm inclined to agree to be perfectly honest but the goaltending controversy in Pittsburgh has become so real that there are now legitimate National Hockey League insiders discussing the possibility of a trade that could involve star goaltender Matt Murray.
In a recent article publish for the Ottawa Sun, Ottawa Senators insider Bruce Garrioch openly wondered about the future of Matt Murray with the Penguins. Murray has been pushed out of the starting net by backup goaltender Tristan Jarry and it appears as though that has been enough to raise some serious questions in Garrioch's mind about whether or not Murray will be back with the Penguins after this current season.
You have to wonder about goaltender Matt Murray’s future in Pittsburgh because he’s been sharing duties with Tristan Jarry. The 25-year-old is a restricted free agent this summer — and making $3.75 million this season — with rights to arbitration. Given the fact he’s helped lead Pittsburgh to two Stanley Cups, there’s not much chance he’ll be moved this season, but this is a situation to watch in the off-season.
Now if you have not been watching the Penguins this season this one may feel like it is coming out of nowhere, but the reality is that in spite of the two Stanley Cups he has to his name Murray has not played like a star goaltender for some time now. The 25 year old netminder has appeared in 24 games for the Penguins this season and his numbers have been ugly. Murray boasts a 2.92 goals against average on the season while also recording a very poor save percentage of .896, those are not the numbers of a starting goaltender at the NHL level.
On the other hand Tristan Jarry has been dynamite for the Penguins and his numbers when compared to Murray's are night and day. Jarry boasts an impressive 1.99 goals against average and an extremely stellar .935 save percentage on the season thus far. The most damning number of all however is the fact that Jarry has now played in nearly as many games as Murray, who presumably should be the starter, and it sounds like Jarry will only be getting even more starts moving forward. Even head coach Mike Sullivan acknowledged the goaltending controversy this week and, while he did his best to remain neutral on the issue, Sullivan was clearly indicating that he had more faith in Jarry than he did in Murray.
“Tristan has played extremely well and that’s had an influence on the decisions the coaching staff has made as far as who’s starting in goal,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan told reporters in Montreal on Saturday. “But we believe in Matt as well. Matt’s played some good games for us and he’s helped us win games as well. Right now, the way the coaching staff looks at it is that we have two really good goalies who give us a chance to win.”
A trade involving Murray, who will be a restricted free agent and in need of a new contract at the end of the season, may have once seemed unfathomable, but that is definitely no longer the case.