Penguins Hand has been forced on Matt Murray

Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford always attempts to act before the market truly develops or becomes flooded.

It’s a yearly occurrence and this off-season, even in a pandemic has been no different with Rutherford dealing his first round pick before all NHL teams could even make transaction, then traded Patric Hornqvist less than two weeks ago.

The status of Matt Murray, though, has been different and much more problematic for Rutherford in trying to strike early before a loaded goaltending market evolves.

Rutherford is one of the most likeable General Managers for NHL executives to trade with because he’s always a believer that you should make it a priority that both sides feel good about a transaction. He doesn’t try to wear down other General Managers in talks.

Rutherford had attempted aggressively to trade Murray several weeks ago. First Pittsburgh targeted specific clubs for [hide] an impact right handed defenseman to no avail, then gauged the market for a return of a high draft pick and to this point a Murray transaction has taken longer than the Penguins preferred or initially thought it would.

Rutherford has not overplayed his hand, sources say, multiple teams have kicked tires over the last month but what the Penguins have found out is no one loves Murray on the market. The Penguins remain cautiously optimistic they can complete a Matt Murray trade before free agency opens. The market, though, did not expand as strong as they had hoped it would out of the preliminary ‘considering’ stage from clubs.

Rutherford see’s a 26 year old, 2-time Stanley Cup winning goaltender as a unique player on the trade market, but for whatever reason, a player like Arizona’s Darcy Kuemper has been much more coveted by teams. That has frustrated Rutherford to some extent, sources say.

And what some believe has hurt the Penguins in trade talks is the worst kept secret around the league in that Matt Murray wants out of Pittsburgh and his camp made that clear following the season to Pittsburgh on more than one occasion.

This is amongst the reasons rival teams don’t believe Pittsburgh’s desire to trade Matt Murray is as financially driven as the media tries to portray it.

Word has gotten around that Rutherford doesn’t have any interest what so ever in bringing Murray back in the room as multiple players starting with the core leadership have been turned off by Murray’s distant personality around the team and what pretty much amounted to a non-official trade request after the season has not sat well after some in the room believe Murray moped for much of this past season.

Teams have gathered intel on some of these aspects unrelated to on-ice performance surrounding Murray such as how he meshes with other players, practice habits and so on. [/hide]