Maligned Toronto writer accuses the Leafs of cheating

Dean Chaudhry
July 30, 2023  (4:53 PM)

While many rejoiced in the idea that the Toronto Maple Leafs were able to alleviate the entire yearly cap hit for Matt Murray to start the season by placing him on the LTIR, many were skeptical about the legitimacy of his injury, including long-time Toronto reporter, Steve Simmons.

Cap strapped teams placing hefty contracts on the LTIR has always been suspicious considering the timing and the culprits. The Tampa Bay Lightning did it with Nikita Kucherov and the Vegas Golden Knights did it with Mark Stone - the issue here being that they were fully 100% ready for the first game of the playoffs.
Toronto's salary cap issue has been reported on ad nauseum this summer and that's partially why Simmons has a suspicious feeling. He asks that if Murray was healthy enough to play in May, what happened between May and July that would have him placed on the LTIR and not ready for the new season? Simmons also pondered why the Maple Leafs are not commenting on the injury status of their goaltender because it pertains to a "personal matter" and that his agent has been quiet - even though he has been contacted. It just adds more fuel to the fire.
His final point was that in Jake Muzzin, we know that he isn't going to play this season and could very well never play another NHL game. However, he says that with Murray, a goalie who has played 20+ games in all 8 seasons, he's willingly signing off on the idea to not play at a critical juncture of his career, but could still continue his career.
If Murray plans on retiring, then it would all make sense in Simmons' eyes, but if he's looking for a change of scenery, sitting out the entire year to help a team with their cap situation is not a good move for his career. An injury-prone veteran goaltender who hasn't been the same since the start of his career and trying to find a new home in his age-30 season usually won't work out so well.
The Leafs would have had to have cleared the move with the NHL and NHLPA prior to placing Murray on LTIR, so they obviously have sufficient medical documentation with which to back up their claims here. In any case, the Leafs have Ilya Samsonov and Joseph Woll in goal, Murray on the LTIR, and have the means to be cap compliant now.
As seen in Simmons' latest piece for the Toronto Sun.
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Maligned Toronto writer accuses the Leafs of cheating

Do you believe the Leafs are circumventing the cap?

Yes15432.5 %
No13829.1 %
No more than Tampa or Vegas were18238.4 %
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