Skip to main content


Insider Trading: Matt Murray on comeback trail


TSN’s Hockey Insiders update the Leafs' Matt Murray and his recovery after hip surgery, whether or not the Panthers can afford pending UFA Sam Reinhart, Andre Tourigny expected to return as coach of Team Canada at the Worlds and the possibility of Connor Bedard and Sidney Crosby joining him.

Matt Murray on the comeback trail after hip surgery

James Duthie: Our Insiders today are Chris Johnston and Darren Dreger. The trio of Leafs goalies has worked pretty well this year with Joe Woll and Samsonov and Martin Jones all having key stretches during the season. But now the forgotten fourth wheel is back on the ice. Is it possible at all that we see Matt Murray in a Leafs uniform again this year CJ?

Johnston: Well, I would say it's a long shot that that happens, but it certainly isn't entirely beyond the realm of possibility. And look, there's still a lot of hoops I think that Matt Murray has to get through before we're even having that kind of conversation. But the mere fact he was on the ice at Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday, the first time we've seen him skating with teammates since last season, at least the entire team. It's another sign of progress and really the big date for Matt Murray will come in about a week and a half's time when he meets with the surgeon who did his bilateral hip procedure to find out if at that point if he's cleared to return to full practice. And if that is the case, of course he's going to have to practice for a while, you're likely looking at a conditioning stint and maybe I guess at the least play long enough and have a need, there's a world where he gets back in but the good news in the short term is Murray is working his way back to health and should be good to play for certain somewhere next season.

Can Florida afford Sam Reinhart?

Duthie: There are contract years and then there is the year that Sam Reinhart is having. When you score 50 for the first time and you had never scored more than 33 in your career just as you're about to become a UFA, will the Panthers have trouble re-signing him Dregs?

Dreger: Well, they could but look, there's an appreciation for the fit there both from Sam Reinhart's position and certainly the position of Bill Zito and the Florida Panthers. But you're right, it does not get any better for Reinhart who could close in on 60 goals in this regular season. They're not negotiating yet, but there's good dialogue between management of the Panthers and the Reinhart camp. Now if you look at fair market value based on what we've already seen, with the Toronto Maple Leafs and William Nylander and Elias Pettersson and the Vancouver Canucks, you know that the number's going to be a significant one, and then you get to that place if you're Florida, how many of these big number contracts can you actually absorb before you now have to put base-level contracts into key positions but Florida most definitely will take a run. 

Tourigny expected to return as head coach for Canada

Duthie: While Reinhart and the Panthers focus on the playoffs, there's a bunch of other teams that are out of it and players that are out of it and starting to think about the World Championships which are a month and change away. Could we have a repeat coach for Team Canada?

Dreger: Yeah, I expect that Andre Tourigny, the head coach of the Arizona Coyotes, will again return as head coach for Team Canada at the upcoming men's World Hockey Championship. Again, that's not official from Hockey Canada's perspective but what I know is that Rick Nash, the newly minted GM for Team Canada, is pushing hard. So this is a decision that will be made in the very, very near future and than after that, as soon as NHL clubs are eliminated from the postseason, Rick Nash and his management group will start reaching out to general managers seeking permission to invite specific players to play for Canada.

Crosby/Bedard a tantalizing possibility for Canada

Johnston: Well, Rick Nash might not have got to the invitation stage Dregs, but let's do the work for him. There's a tantalizing possibility here with the fact that you have Connor Bedard, obviously Chicago Blackhawks are not going to be in the postseason and the Pittsburgh Penguins don't appear going there with Sidney Crosby and that is a very intriguing possibility, two first overall picks 18 years apart, the past, the present, the future all rolled into one and remember, Crosby had a great experience in Prague at the 2015 worlds, that's where he entered the Triple Gold Club. Bedard of course has had success at the World Junior level, we're not at the point where these players are being asked but we know they will be in due course and there's at least a possibility the way their seasons went that they could be playing together in the Czech Republic next month.

Tortorella apologizes for most recent media mishandle

Duthie: And as you guys have talked about before, a lot of players incentivized to go with best-on-best hockey coming for the next couple of years. John Tortorella has had a lot of things he hasn't been happy about lately. The most recent one was himself Dregs. 

Dreger: On Sunday, he walked away from the podium after being asked about the play of his goaltender Felix Sandstrom. Well, today, John Tortorella apologized, mostly for his body language. And as we could see, he looks at the media for several seconds before eventually just walking away and he knows that sent the wrong message not only to the media, but to the play of Sandstrom. Last week, it was a scratching of Sean Couturier and the fact that he didn't talk to the media on the day of. This week, it's this. What we know about John Tortorella here is that he is a good guy. So the apology is doing the right thing. And it wasn't encouraged by Flyers management. 

Duthie: Well, he's an intense guy and I think it speaks to the intensity of the situation trying to hold on to a playoff spot you weren't expected to be in with Washington and other teams trying to boot you right out of it.