Sportsnet is reporting that Toronto Maple Leafs netminder Matt Murray has undergone successful bilateral hip surgery and is expected to miss between six and eight months. This likely means he will miss the entire 2023-24 NHL season. Murray was acquired from the Ottawa Senators in July 2022 along with a third-round pick in exchange for a seventh-round pick and future considerations. It was essentially a salary cap dump at the time by the Ottawa Senators, who retained over $1.5MM of Murray’s $6.25MM cap hit.
The former two-time Stanley Cup champion has fallen on hard times in recent years as his health has kept him out of the lineup for extended periods of time in each of the past five seasons. Murray hasn’t played more than 30 games in a season since the 2019-20 season when he was a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. When he has been available to play, he hasn’t been able to match the levels of play that made him a Stanley Cup champion in 2016 and 2017. Murray hasn’t posted a goals-against average below 3.00 since 2019-20 and has seen his save percentage hover around .900 since 2018-19.
Murray has has struggles with his health for a long time now and one must wonder if he will be able to overcome his latest setback and get back into an NHL lineup. The Thunder Bay, Ontario native has never been able to capture the magic that he put on display early in his career and has seen his stock tumble to the point of being a cap dump last summer.
Murray appeared to be on the cusp of superstardom in 2017 when the Penguins elected to keep him over franchise icon Marc-Andre Fleury who was taken by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft. The Penguins had signed Murray to a three-year extension at the time and thought they had an elite netminder that could lead them to more Stanley Cups. Unfortunately, Murray’s play flatlined and he was unseated as the starter by Tristan Jarry. He was then dealt to the Senators in 2020 and signed to an extension in a move that proved disastrous for Ottawa.