Murray’s Restricted Free Agency next summer will also force the Penguins’ hand

The Penguins goaltending situation is certain to get awkward at somepoint next season. That is just inevitable.

When expansion happened in the 1990’s, the boys club was still in tact and General Managers often worked out deals behind the scenes to protect a player.

Jim Rutherford keeps hinting in recent weeks that the expansion draft will allow him time before hand to work something out with the Las Vegas team where he could keep Marc Andre Fleury and Matt Murray.

Trading will start on June 1 with the expansion draft officially three weeks later.

The reality of the Penguins situation is Murray becoming a restricted free agent next summer will also force the Penguins’ hand to figure things out.

Pittsburgh could park Murray on the bench next season and have him only make around 25-30 starts and NHL executives are certain Murray would still be a prime candidate for an offer sheet next summer, barring he doesn’t sign an extension with the Penguins beforehand.

Murray has enough on tape from his play in the AHL and the playoff run where he’s now widely looked at around the league as a long-term franchise goaltender.

Someone would jump at the chance if the Fleury situation drags out to next summer and Murray’s opts to go to restricted free agency.

Cullen returning for 20th season but will it be in Pittsburgh?

39 year old center Matt Cullen informed the Penguins on Monday he plans to return for a 20th season.

“Matt Cullen wants to play next year,” Cullen’s agent Pat Morris told Inside Pittsburgh Sports on Tuesday morning.

Will Cullen’s 20th and last season be in Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh is certainly Cullen’s first choice, but because of Pittsburgh’s cap situation, the Cullen camp To read this insider news, subscribe to get “Inside Access”!