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Maple Leafs’ Prior Facts of Matt Murray’s LTIR Status Uncovered

According to James Mirtle of The Athletic, it appears that the Toronto Maple Leafs were well aware of Matt Murray’s potential long-term injured reserve (LTIR) designation for the upcoming season, and a buyout was likely never on the table. Mirtle suggests that starting with the way NHL insider Elliotte Friedman worded the announcement of Murray’s “expected” LTIR status, along with insights from his own sources, including one from the league, there was an indication that the Leafs had prior knowledge of this development and all of this played out as expected.

Mirtle notes that Murray’s situation parallels that of defenseman Jake Muzzin, where the remainder of his career faces uncertainty. Only 29 years old, Murray has a long list of injuries that have been plaguing his career for the past few seasons and the organization was well aware there would be no questions from the NHL in terms of whether placing him on LTIR was reasonable.

Matt Murray Suspected of Protecting Base Salary With LTIR Move

With that knowledge in hand, Mirtle observes that the Leafs did not aggressively pursue trading Murray’s contract. Toronto was never going to take the same approach they did with Petr Mrazek last summer, which involved offering a sweetener to facilitate the deal. Evidently, the team explored other alternatives rather than parting with additional assets, but knowing that LTIR was a legitimate option, there likely wasn’t pressure to get anything done.

Murray Is Far More Injured Than Some Players on LTIR

Notably, an NHL league source informed Mirtle that other teams have placed players with less extensive injury histories on LTIR for an entire season without facing any scrutiny from the league. In fact, the league is aware that there are a number of players actively playing who would qualify for LTIR if designated there. This information further strengthens the legitimacy of Murray’s case for LTIR status.

So, with Murray’s situation out of the way, it remains to be seen how the Leafs will navigate their salary cap challenges and make adjustments to their roster in light of Murray’s expected LTIR designation. While the details of Murray’s injury and its implications on his future are still being assessed, the team will have to make strategic decisions to address this significant development in their goaltending situation.

And, if in a year’s time, Murray still wants to play in the NHL, he’ll have had an entire season to rehab and get prepared.

Next: The Pros & Cons of Maple Leafs Signing Jonathan Toews

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