Seth Rorabaugh of TribLive.com recently wondered if the Pittsburgh Penguins might decide to make a significant shift in their goaltendening, electing stick with Tristan Jarry over Matt Murray.
Rorabaugh noted that the Penguins might have some reservations about spending the kind of money Murray will have a right to ask for. Based on his production, Murray could seek an extension comparable to Tampa Bay’s Andrej Vasilevskiy ($9.5 million AAV) or Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck ($6.16 million AAV). That’s a large window but whether he comes in on the low end or the high end, it represents a raise at least twice the amount he made this season in the final year of his current contract ($3.75 million).
The more affordable option is to re-sign fellow RFA Tristan Jarry.
Rorabaugh noted that Jarry was also in the market to see a big raise but the financial situation that is about to face the NHL might affect his asking price. Rorabaugh explains:
The 24-year-old is in the final season of a two-year contract with a salary cap hit of $675,000, a bargain for a player who was selected as an All-Star this season.
The timing of breaking out as an NHL-er in a contract year could not have been more convenient for Jarry … until, of course, the league shut down because of a worldwide pandemic, potentially losing $1.1 billion as a result.
GM Jim Rutherford has said all contract negotiations are on hold but he has to know that he likely can’t sign both players, at least not without sacrificing in other areas. Who does he choose?
The future may be with Jarry, who already replaced Murray as the starter during portions of last season. Is it time the Penguins make the shift? Can they trade Murray’s rights?
Jarry Has to Be Thinking About it
Jarry says he’s not worried about his long-term future as he’s focused on hopefully coming back this season and competing for a Stanley Cup. That said, he has to be thinking that he’d like to be a regular starter.
If so, Rutherford may have a hard time convincing Murray to sign a shor-term deal so they can usher Jarry into the full-time starting role, while Jarry won’t likely want to sign a long-term deal knowing there’s a good chance he’ll be playing a backup role.
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