Matt Murray is excited about the opportunity.
He also knows there are more than a few doubters among his new team’s fan base.
The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired the goaltender from the Ottawa Senators on Monday along with a 2023 third-round draft pick in the 2023 and a seventh-rounder in 2024 for future considerations.
The move by Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas for the two-time Stanley Cup winner is a bold one as Toronto looks to finally get over its first-round playoff hump, and hopefully beyond.
Despite solid career numbers, Murray’s statistical profile has fallen off the last three seasons, including two in the nation’s capital, due to both poor play and injury.
Jack Campbell, Toronto’s No. 1 goalie in 2021-22, appears poised to leave in free agency, while the Leafs dealt underperforming netminder Petr Mrazek to Chicago to clear salary cap space and pave the way for the Murray move.
Toronto could look for another goalie when free agency opens Wednesday to work alongside Murray, who spoke with reporters Tuesday via video conference.
But given the salary commitment of close to $4.69 million US over the next two seasons — Ottawa is picking up 25 per cent of his $6.25-million cap hit through 2023-24 — it’s safe to assume Murray will be the starter.
“I’m extremely motivated,” he said Tuesday. “I’ve got lots to prove.”