Red Wings: 4 players to target in a trade due to flat salary cap

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Red Wings, Matt Murray
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Goaltender- Matt Murray

The Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender burst onto the scene as he began his NHL career.  Matt Murray backboned the Penguins to back-to-back Stanley Cups during his first two NHL seasons.

Murray’s stellar play allowed the Penguins to confidently expose Marc-Andre Fleury during the expansion draft, allowing him to land between the pipes for the Vegas Golden Knights.  Sorry to remind you, Fleury had led the Penguins to a Stanley Cup Championship, beating the Red Wings in seven games back in 2009.

The Penguins drafted Murray with the 83rd pick in the third round of the 2012 NHL Entry Level Draft.  The product of Thunder Bay, Ontario, has endured the worst season of his career this year, posting a save percentage of just 0.899%, which is by far a career-low, and a goals-against-average of 2.87, the second-worst of his career.  He’s played 38 games this season, posting a record of 20-11-5, including one shutout.

You wouldn’t automatically think that the Penguins would be ready to give up on a player that is just 26-years old and provided the organization with sensational goaltending over his first four seasons. Also, having played stellar postseason hockey throughout his career but they find themselves in a predicament at the conclusion of this season.

Both Penguins’ netminders are pending RFA’s at the end of this season.  The Penguins general manager, Jim Rutherford, had previously mentioned he feared he’d be forced to move one of his goaltenders.  The Red Wings will be interested in either goaltender that becomes available. Still, I have a feeling if Murray falters at all during these playoffs, Rutherford won’t hesitate to keep Tristan Jarry who performed better this past season.

Jarry’s 25-years old and produced a regular-season record of 20-12-1, including three shutouts over 33 games played.  His 0.921 save percentage, and 2.43 goals-against average were both considerably better than Murray.

The Penguins will enter the offseason having just $13 million to spend and only 15 players under contract.