The Pittsburgh Penguins have locked up goaltender Matt Murray to a three year extension worth $11.25 million.

Emerging last season as the NHL’s best young goaltender, the 22 year old netminder went 15-6 in the post-season with a 2.08 goals-against-average and .923 save percentage in backstopping the Penguins to their fourth Stanley Cup in franchise history.

From the Penguins’ standpoint, getting somewhat of a bridge contract for Murray at under $4 million per season is tremendous value.

Some NHL executives have felt Murray was potentially putting himself in position next summer [hide] to command a deal in the $5 million range from the Penguins or even be an offer sheet candidate.

Murray might have sold himself a bit short in the short-term by opting not to wait and see how this season plays out. That said, he gets security even in the unlikely event that Marc Andre Fleury would run away with the starting job this season and be the Penguins’ guy in playoffs, something some Fleury backers in the organization would like to see happen.

FullSizeRender (7)

However, Murray is Mike Sullivan’s guy and I don’t see that changing.

Many will now be speculating what this deal means for Marc Andre Fleury’s future?

The contract is not really a game changer.

It was always anticipated the Murray deal would come in higher than Andrei Vasilevski’s $3.5 million AAV, it was just a question of how much higher.

A team source was quick to point out the team could still make things work cap wise and keep Fleury and Murray next season.

However, if the Penguins have any interest in keeping this team together or really adding to it from the outside for 2017-2018, keeping Fleury would not allow them to keep this team together.

The Penguins have $63.6 million committed to 14 players next season.

Trevor Daley, Nick Bonino are key free agents this summer and Brian Dumoulin is set to become a restricted free agent.

Bonino could be a $4 million a year + player on the open market, and Daley who the Penguins have interest in resigning, is still a $3-$3.5 million player on a 2-3 year deal.

Brian Dumoulin’s agent should be looking at the Olli Maatta contract and not accepting anything less than $4 million per, especially with Dumoulin getting close to free agency. The Penguins are trying to sign Dumoulin for around $3.5 million, per a league source.

Then there’s Justin Schultz who is making $1.4 million this season and should put himself in position to gain a raise next season after taking a $2.5 million paycut from his 15-16 salary.

At the end of the day, there’s just no reason to have $9.5 million tied into two starting goaltenders.

However, with Fleury and a possible trade next summer, you then have to question whether there’s even a deal out there where the Penguins can move Fleury and not have to take a contract back.

There’s still going to be a lot of domino’s to fall here. [/hide]