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Oilers Among Six Teams Inquiring About Goaltender Matt Murray

As per a report from Frank Seravalli, the Edmonton Oilers are one of six teams rumored to be interested in goaltender Matt Murray.

Matt Murray Pittsburgh Penguins Oilers trade

This just in from TSN’s Frank Seravalli: “The Pittsburgh Penguins are believed to have one standing offer on the table for Matt Murray. The Maple Leafs, Oilers, Flames, Senators, Sabres and Avalanche are among the potential suitors for Murray’s services – a list that may soon grow.”

There’s no clarification as to which team it is that has the standing offer, but that the Edmonton Oilers are rumored among the teams to have inquired into the netminder’s availability is interesting.

Currently the Oilers are planning to go with a 1A and 1B goaltender tandem for next season. GM Ken Holland has publicly stated as much. He didn’t divulge much in the way of whether that tandem included pending unrestricted free agent Mike Smith, but the assumption was that the Oilers would stick with Mikko Koskinen, who has two more seasons left on his deal at a $4.5 million cap hit.

Why this is so interesting, is that any interest in Matt Murray suggests the team might be looking for more than just a 1B, but potentially a goaltender who can steal the starting role and run with it.

Murray Will Require an Investment

In an offseason where it is expected free agents will have to take a bit of a pay cut, Murray is still expected to receive a raise over his $3.75 million cap hit from last season. If the Oilers are prepared to invest that kind of money into another goalie (meaning Edmonton has $8.25 million tied up between the pipes), it means one of two things.

The Oilers are either looking to ship Koskinen out, or they’re looking to invest more money into the goaltending position, thinking that Murray will become the starter and they see that as an overall upgrade long-term.

Remember, Murray is only 26 years old and has two Stanley Cups on his resume. Edmonton isn’t looking at trading for him and signing him to a two-year deal. If they want him, they’ll need to sign him after they land him.

Related: Penguins Have Trade Offer For Matt Murray (Is It From the Maple Leafs?)

Are the Oilers Unsure About The Position?

It’s fair to ask if Holland has doubts when it comes to how solid the Oilers goaltending is. He’s said he believes the tandem system worked this past season and he wants to stick with it. He just didn’t detail whether or not he had faith in the two goalies that made up that tandem.

If he’s looking to land a starter that could cost the Oilers another $4 to $4.5 million per season, one has to think Holland has his doubts that the combination of Koskinen and Smith wasn’t strong enough. In fact, if Holland is interested in Matt Murray, one has to wonder if Holland doubts Koskinen’s ability to be a long-term starter.

And, should the Oilers not land Murray, this news suggests the team has their eyes on another goalie who is more than just a backup. Does that signal Mike Smith’s time in Edmonton might be over?

Next: Rumors of More NHL Bubble Games Will Hurt Chances of Rask’s Return

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