Surprise developments in Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov's return to Leafs’ lineup

What will be the reaction?



Earlier this week, it was reported that Toronto Maple Leafs veteran goalie Matt Murray was set to meet with the surgeon who did his bilateral hip procedure to find out if at that point if he’s cleared to return to full practice. Fans never expected it would come sooner than reported as on Friday, Murray was on the ice, taking part in his first Leafs practice of the season, with teammates.

It looks like the team and Murray have an eye on potentially returning ahead of the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs, per TSN's Mark Masters. 

It is a positive step for Murray as many never expected to see him ever again in a Toronto jersey. At the beginning of the season, Murray’s $4.6875 million cap hit was placed on long-term injured reserve. Murray is in the final year of a four-year, $25 million deal he signed with the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 9, 2020 before he was shipped to Toronto along with a seventh-round pick in 2024. Ottawa retained 25% ($1.5625 million) of his salary in exchange for future considerations.

Now, reporters and pundits are talking about a surprise return for the postseason. And while head coach Sheldon Keefe confirmed that Ilya Samsonov will return for his ailment and be the Leafs’ starter against the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday, there is an argument made that Murray might be the netminder to trust during the postseason, thanks to his two Stanley Cup rings he led the Pittsburgh Penguins to.

Would you want Murray in net for the Maple Leafs during the postseason? Because it feels like we are getting closer to that possibility…

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