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Update expected on Maple Leafs G Murray this week

Matt Murray Toronto Maple Leafs Matt Murray - The Canadian Press

The Toronto Maple Leafs are expected to issue an update this week on goaltender Matt Murray, who has spent this season on long-term injured reserve.

Murray underwent bilateral hip surgery in October and was given a timeline of six-to-eight months for recovery following the operation. He began skating in full pads last month, but has yet to take part in a practice. 

"There’s an expectation this week that Matt Murray’s situation will be updated. We do know that he was due to see another specialist after he had the hip surgery back in the fall," TSN Hockey Insider Chris Johnston said on Insider Trading. "The next stage for him would be getting cleared to join the Maple Leafs full time at practice. He’s been on the ice, but he would really ramp it up and be a regular member at practice.

"Beyond that, who knows what happens? We’ll see where things end up, and he may end up going on a conditioning loan. 

"I think that the good news, big picture, is that Murray is taking the steps towards health, and we’ll expect an update within the next day or two about all those things and how the follow-up appointments were received."

The 29-year-old could be a part of the Maple Leafs playoff roster, when cap implications no longer apply. Toronto currently has three goaltenders on their active roster in Ilya Samsonov, Joseph Woll and Martin Jones.

Murray went 14-8-2 with a .903 save percentage and a 3.01 goals-against average last season, his first in Toronto, while dealing with several different injuries over the campaign.

He is in the final year of his contract, signed at a cap hit of $4.69 million for Toronto, with the Ottawa Senators retaining an additional $1.56 million on their books. He was acquired in 2022 from the Senators, along with a third-round draft pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, in exchange for future considerations.  Ottawa signed Murray to his current four-year, $25 million contract in free agency in 2020.

Prior to missing all of this season, Murray had been limited to 27 games or less in each of the previous three years. In 272 career games, he has a 146-86-24 record with a .910 save percentage and a 2.79 GAA.

The Thunder Bay, Ont., native won two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017.