OH EM GEE.
THE PENGUINS ARE TRADING MURRAY?! WE SHOULD HAVE KEPT FLEURY!!! RAGEEEEEEE.
On the real though, according to NHL Trade Rumors, the Penguins are in fact in talks to trade Matt Murray. Let’s take a look at the current rumored trade:
The Penguins will trade Matt Murray and future considerations to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for forwards Tyler Toffoli and Trevor Lewis, as well as possibly goaltender Jonathan Quick.
The issue at the moment is Jonathan Quick, as it sounds like the Penguins want him IF the Kings retain $1.5-2 million of his salary, while open to including Alex Galchenyuk to try and make the money work. The Kings are also potentially interested in Pierre-Olivier Joseph and Calen Addison, two prospects for the Penguins.
Honestly…I’m a Murray guy, don’t get me wrong. The sentence up above was a joke. If you’re one of the people who believe we truly should have kept Fleury at that moment in time, all I have to say to that is LOL. Anywho, I’m a Murray guy and I feel the guy has the potential to be an elite goaltender.
Is he currently an elite goaltender? Hell no. He’s got some serious issues that he needs to figure out, and honestly I don’t think Mike Buckley is going to be the guy to get Murray out of his head. It’s really not looking like it so far this season. Will Bill Ranford, the goaltending coach for the Kings, be able to? Who knows, and it won’t be our problem should it get to that point. Let’s take a gander at Murray the past few years:
He came out in his career swinging, winning back to back Cups. We all know this, we’ve all praised it, blah blah blah. He has dropped off since, and his season this year is not looking good. He may have a 12-6 record, but he’s averaging almost three goals against, for the second time in the last three years. That’s not a good look. Let’s take a look at Jarry’s stats:
Disregarding the two seasons where he had one game and two games played respectively, he’s on the up and up. Played 26 games in 17/18 with a .908 save percentage and 2.77 GAA. He’s played 21 games in this 19/20 season, with a .934 save percentage and a 2.04 GAA. That’s a pretty solid improvement if you ask me. He’s clearly won the goaltending competition in Pittsburgh. Hell, he even made the All Star Game this year (albeit as a replacement, but hey, he made it!).
I’m not against this trade at all, in fact I support it. Do I think Murray could be an elite starting goaltender once again? Yes, I do, on a team where the coach is able to get him out of his head and fix his swiss cheese of a glove side. That’s key, and that’s what IS NOT happening in Pittsburgh. The Kings might think they can bring him back to his former self, good on them for thinking so. Tyler Toffoli and Trevor Lewis would be huge improvements for the lackluster forward corp we have at the moment.
At this current moment, Toffoli is 3rd on the Kings in points, with 11 goals and 14 assists. Lewis is farther down with 2 goals and 5 assists. I’m thinking they want Lewis more for his tenacity and grit than his scoring potential, which is perfectly fine with me. Give them Galchenyuk, using that freed up cap space, we can sign Toffoli long-ish term. I’ll take that. Lewis is expendable, but can prove himself. Now the other part of the potential deal, Jonathan Quick, now that is an interesting part to me.
He has had a less than stellar season, posting an 11-17 record, with a 3.02 GAA and .895 save percentage. Yikes, not hot at all. Overall, he’s had a fairly consistent career with around a ~2.20 GAA and ~.915 save percentage, save this current year and last year. We’ll be bringing him in for a backup role, not a starting role. I actually low key LOVE that for the Penguins. Quick would bring in the veteran experience Jarry would hugely benefit from, and would be a safe bet, in my eyes, in case we need him to play some games. I think a change of scenery might be what he needs to get out of his rut too.
Now WILL this trade happen? Who knows, it would be a blockbuster one if it does. I’m a fan of it, I want it to happen. My only concern is how much faith we’re putting in Tristan Jarry to maintain his level of performance. We aren’t in the position like we were with Murray and Fleury, where we absolute had to decide on one or the other, with one of them almost certainly being picked up in the expansion draft. So we don’t need to force this situation to come to a close.
That being said, I think this deal is as good a deal as we’d ever get, cause if Murray keeps up this trend, he’s only tanking his trade value. I think it’s smart of Rutherford to get what he can now, and risk it for the biscuit. We’ll have to stay tuned to find out what really happens, but I think would this come to pass, it may just be the fuel we need to ignite the fire under the Penguins to push through this back half of the season. Giving Tristan Jarry the full reigns to the starting job could be just what he needs to push past what he has shown, and elevate himself to elite status and prove to the staff and any doubters that he can be the starting goaltender.
Having typed this up, I’m definitely hyped myself up to the point of me really wanting this trade to happen. I’d love to see what Toffoli can do here, and I’d love for Jarry to prove himself to any doubters out there. Here’s to hoping!