Matt Murray in Ottawa, Taylor Hall contenders and other NHL growls – the Athletic

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The Pittsburgh Penguins started Matt Murray’s commercial deal weeks ago asking for a first-round pick and why not a two-time Stanley Cup champion? But as Friday’s free agency approached, they have wisely chose their best offer.

Because once the free agent market opens on Friday you have a deluge of UFA goalie options and Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford has reportedly lost more weight in trade talks over Murray. Not to mention the fact the Penguins wanted a pick in this year’s draft, not next year, so they got it with the Senators’ 52nd overall (which they used on Wednesday to select Swedish goaltender Joel Blomqvist ).

The Senses and Pens had been talking about the deal for a few weeks, but as a source said within minutes of its completion, it picked up steam in the hour leading up to the second round of the draft on Wednesday. That’s what deadlines do, they push agreements forward.

I’m sure Pittsburgh would have preferred …



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