The Ottawa Senators were a team that needed to spend money to get to the cap floor. They found a good way to start getting there by signing goaltender Matt Murray to a massive contract extension on Friday. According to multiple sources, the deal is for four years and worth $25 million, an annual average value (AAV) of $6.25 million per year.
This is a massive commitment to the goaltender the Penguins were having a hard time moving until the Senators came along. GM Pierre Dorion traded forward Jonathan Gruden (drafted 95th overall in 2018) and a 2020 second-round draft pick for the netminder and a few days later, offered a back-loaded contract where Murray will receive $4 million in year one of the contract, followed by $6 million, $7 million and $8 million, respectively.
Murray certainly has experience. Over five seasons, he’s recorded a 117-53-19 record in 199 regular season games. Not only that but he touted a 2.67 goals against average (GAA), .914 save percentage (SV%) and 11 shutouts over that span. But, in a market where goaltenders were readily available, he becomes the most expensive netminder signed since the draft and with the start of free agency.
With Murray’s AAV of $6.25 million and about $9.7 million commited to Marian Gaborik, Bobby Ryan, Dion Phaneuf, the Senators are still $10 million away from the salary cap floor.
Senators Believe They’d Found Their Guy
The money committed to Murray suggests the team is extremely confident Murray is their guy to work them through the rebuild the team says should be well underway by the time his contract expires. It is that rebuild that could perhaps explain what appears to be a bit of an overpayment.
With his contract, Murray quickly becomes the second-highest paid player on the Senators roster behind only Thomas Chabot who has an AAV of $8 million.
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