Dorion Shooting To Rope In Matt Murray

By Ben Hamill - October 11 2020
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Dorion Shooting To Rope In Matt Murray

Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion has put his money on netminder Matt Murray – no doubt hoping for a period of reprieve following at least two superbly difficult seasons. And difficult seasons, no less, that included a roaring upset opposite an underdog Montreal Canadiens side during the 24-team summer restart. Frankly, fate would have taken some doing for the big S to have done much worse.

Dorion’s big splash came to pass on the second day of the NHL draft – and should ultimately be the makings of the kicking off of an interesting period across the league given wild uncertainties, slippery salary caps, and a general sensation of simply not knowing what the future holds.

Still – Dorion says he’s paying for more than just another player expected to make “things better”. What Dorion has paid for is personal credibility – as in his own. Said Pierre Dorion of the acquisition during a video conference call on Wednesday, Matt Murray has something to prove. And proof that’s hopefully worth paying for.

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Some Highs – Some Lows

Murray is a two-time Cup champion with Pittsburgh. Initially selected 83rd overall by the Penguins back in 2012, he officially ranks third overall in the performance history of the franchise. His 117 victories and 11 shutouts make of him “valuable goods” on the ice.

But, in the spirt of covering all bases, he’s also a player fresh off a below-par 2019-2020 season and a player unceremoniously sat down after Game 3 opposite Montreal. That also happened to be the makings of a 3-1 Canadiens lead in a best-of-five series.

Murray Practically In The Bag

But all things being equal – the Senators are, by their own admission, a franchise bent on rebuilding. And the single area most in need of a complete re-address just so happens to be Matt Murray’s special forte: goalkeeping.

Murray, who Dorion on Wednesday said is regarded as a No. 1 goalie in the league, gets to replace the departing now-turned-free-agent Anthony Duclair. The GM raised quite a few eyebrows when he earlier on announced the Senators’ decision not to extend to the winger a qualifying offer.

As for what to expect of Murray’s three-year contract negotiations, Dorion said he isn’t expecting too much of a rumble-and-tumble around the table. The $11.25 million on the negotiations table should sufficiently sweeten the deal so as to secure the sign.

And if all else fails, unlike many teams circling a tight and unforgiving budget, Ottawa at least has the benefit of some manoeuvring room to make the peg fit.

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