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Toronto Maple Leafs

Matt Murray Suspected of Protecting Base Salary With LTIR Move

Nick Kypreos discusses Matt Murray’s surprise LTIR move, suggesting the Leafs could address the blue line by trading T.J. Brodie.

It will likely never be something the NHL looks into, but there are questions about the timing of Matt Murray’s move to LTIR by the Toronto Maple Leafs. The netminder stated during the most recent post-season that he was ready to play if called upon, but mysteriously, as the Leafs were desperate to find cap room this summer, Murray is coincidentally unhealthy enough to play next season and was placed on long-term injury reserve.

There have been a few that have questioned the timing of all of this, especially considering how it benefits the team and the player in the best possible way.

Among those who were surprised to hear that this was an option for Toronto was Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos who expressed his confusion at Murray’s placement on LTIR during a recent interview. While a bit intriguing that it was doable, he noted that it makes sense when you consider all the factors.

Matt Murray is slated to make an $8 million base salary next season

He referenced that Murray had previously stated his readiness to play in the 2023 post-season but also that he believes this move may not solely be due to a change in Murray’s injury status. Given Murray’s substantial base salary of $8 million next season, he likely preferred not to be bought out, making LTIR a beneficial solution for all parties involved. In other words, Kypreos is suggesting that if Murray’s options were to be bought out and a reduced number or sit out and collect his $8 million, he chose the latter.

Kypreos noted that this allows Murray to protect his earnings, while the Toronto Maple Leafs can remove his complete cap hit from their books, providing relief to the salary cap and easing fans’ concerns about last-minute preseason panic.

The Maple Leafs Still Aren’t Done Making Moves

Regarding the team’s efforts to get under the salary cap ceiling in the upcoming weeks, Kypreos suggested that trading defenseman T.J. Brodie could be a viable option. Brodie, with one year remaining on his contract, is a player worth considering when seeking to address the blue line. He believed Toronto might deal Brodie and acquire a younger, bigger D-man.

And, if it isn’t Brodie, Kypreos suggested the Maple Leafs were going to have to shave salary from somewhere.

As the offseason progresses, the Maple Leafs face critical decisions to optimize their roster and manage the salary cap effectively. The Murray LTIR move and the potential trade of Brodie are key elements shaping the team’s strategy as they prepare for the new season. Fans and analysts will closely watch the team’s moves to see how they address their roster needs and position themselves for success in the upcoming campaign.

Next: Maple Leafs Mitch Marner Marries Girlfriend Stephanie LaChance

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