Analyst shoots down the idea that the Leafs are trying to circumvent the salary cap with Matt Murray

Published July 27, 2023 at 9:41

The Leafs announcing on Wednesday that they will be placing Matt Murray on LTIR came as a bit of a surprise, given all of the talk surrounding a probable buyout on the oft-injured veteran netminder. Nevertheless, here we are, and wouldn't you know it? There are some who are now accusing the Leafs of cap circumvention.

In recent years, we have seen teams truly abuse LTIR to gain an advantage in the playoffs - Nikita Kucherov and Mark Stone being the most recent examples in Tampa and Vegas. It's a little strange that the individuals who are complaining about Matt Murray heading to LTIR aren't making any mention of Tampa and Vegas, but hey - it's all about the Leafs, always.

NHL analyst, former NHLer and ex-NHL executive Dave Poulin joined the TSN 1050 First Up crew this morning to discuss the Matt Murray fallout. Not only did Poulin discuss what he believes is the nature of the injury that will prevent Murray from playing, but he also stated that the issue is legitimate and pointed to the fact that the Leafs must have substantial medical evidence to support their case if they're utilizing LTIR, knowing full well that they'd be under a great deal of scrutiny.

"I'm assuming the injury that we're talking about is concussions - is the head. It's not a knee injury where you say 'ok, this is how we rehab it, this is when he'll be ready, this is the history of a player with knee injuries that's this age.. none of that factors into play here. It's a total different world... With head injuries, with concussions, you know that players wake up one day and say 'wow, I feel really good'.. well, there's something more than that here. That's not going to happen now. In late-July, that's not going to happen now with Matt Murray.

You have to check a lot of boxes. Medically, you just can't do it, so they've got the medical side of it cleared to be able to do this, that says 'Matt Murray is not going to play anymore'.

It's been controversial, the idea of long-term injury, because of situations like the Kucherov deal, Mark Stone this year... guys that have come back and been very impactful. That's not going to be the case here [with Murray]. It's not."

If Murray's playing days are truly over at just 29 years of age, it's certainly unfortunate. The Thunder Bay, Ontario native made it into just 26 games for the Leafs last season, posting a 3.01 GAA and a .902 SV%. He did not play a single playoff game for the Leafs after suffering a concussion back in early April.

Yes, Murray was on the bench for the Leafs in the playoffs after Ilya Samsonov had suffered an injury in the 2nd round against Florida, but there's a large gap between being healthy enough to play in the playoffs and being healthy. As we well know, Matthew Tkachuk was medically cleared to play with a broken sternum. The recently retired Patrice Bergeron was also medically cleared to play in the playoffs with a punctured lung back in 2013.

If this is truly the end of the line for Murray, at least he'll leave the game behind having won a pair of Stanley Cups. The hope, though, is that he'll be able to recover enough during his time away from the ice to allow him to continue his career at some point in the future.
July 27   |   492 answers
Analyst shoots down the idea that the Leafs are trying to circumvent the salary cap with Matt Murray

Do you think the Leafs are trying to circumvent the salary cap by placing Matt Murray on LTIR?

Yes, and I love it!25752.2 %
Yes, but I don't agree with it7715.7 %
No, that's not what's happening here15832.1 %
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