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Penguins Extend Matt Murray to 3 Year Extension

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The Pittsburgh Penguins Extended Goaltender Matt Murray for the Next Three Years.

The Pittsburgh Penguins and goaltender Matt Murray have agreed to a 3 year extension worth $11.25 million. The contract will have a salary cap hit of $3.75 million per season, according to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN. The contract will kick in following the 2016-17 season.

Murray is dealing with a broken hand, which he suffered during the World Cup. He and Marc Andre Fleury were expected to compete for the starting role, but with Murray just returning to practice, Fleury is being given the first opportunity to win the job. It is likely that the Penguins give Murray an opportunity to take the job, as he is the better fit long term, but any struggles would likely put Fleury right back in the goal crease.

The 22 year old started 13 regular season games for the Penguins last season, but made his name known in the playoffs, where he started 21 games in replace of the injured Fleury. He won 15 games, leading the Penguins to a Stanley Cup Championship with a 2.08 goals against average.

There were trade rumors throughout the offseason that the Penguins would trade one of their two starting caliber goaltenders, but nothing became of them. With Fleury under contract until after the 2018-19 season with a $5.75 million cap hit, and now Murray at $3.75 million. It is likely that one of the goaltenders will still have to be moved.

With the NHL expansion draft coming next offseason, and rules stating that only one goaltender can be protected, Murray would be the more logical choice, being younger and cheaper, as well as having large success in the playoffs. But Fleury has a no-movement clause in his contract, meaning that he must be protected in the draft. So the Penguins are left with two options, either trading Fleury, or letting Murray go.