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Penguins may have to trade goalie, GM says: report

Murray, Jarry each set to become restricted free agent, 'very tough decisions ahead'

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

The Pittsburgh Penguins may have to trade a goalie with Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry each set to become a restricted free agent after this season, general manager Jim Rutherford told The Athletic on Tuesday.

The Penguins have more than $68 million committed to the roster next season. Murray's contract has an average annual value of $3.75 million. Jarry's is worth $675,000.

"I'll say this: If we are going to keep both of them, we'd have to move a few things around on our team," Rutherford said. "There is a way to do things and to make that work, yes. There are some very, very tough decisions ahead."

Although the NHL salary cap for 2020-21 has yet to be determined, Rutherford said he is planning that it won't be as high as this season ($81.5 million).

"We know that much," Rutherford said. "It's certainly not going up."

Murray, who will turn 26 on May 25, made 38 starts this season and is 20-11-5 with a 2.87 goals-against average and .899 save percentage. Although he struggled at times, Rutherford said he was confident Murray would be the No. 1 goalie in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs for Pittsburgh (40-23-6), which was third in the Metropolitan Division when the season was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

Video: Murray, Holtby, Binnington discuss NHL Pause

Murray was the Penguins starter when they won the Stanley Cup in 2016 and 2017.

"That's a [Mike Sullivan] question," said Rutherford, referring to the Penguins coach. "But in my opinion, yeah, he was going to be the guy. He's the guy with the experience that time of year, he's the guy that has had so much success in the postseason, and he was starting to play really well. I could sense him really playing better and gearing up for the playoffs. He's done it before. We were quite pleased with how his game was coming along."

Jarry, who is 20-12-1 with a 2.43 GAA and .921 save percentage, received more playing time after Murray went 2-2-4 in 10 starts in November. Starting 13 of Pittsburgh's 20 games from Nov. 16-Dec. 30, Jarry went 12-2-0 with a 1.78 GAA and .941 save percentage, including a stretch when he had three shutouts in four starts.

Video: PIT@ARI: Jarry kicks out pad to rob Dvorak

That helped the 25-year-old make the NHL All-Star Game for the first time, as an injury replacement for Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo.

"He was our best goaltender in our past couple of camps, so we knew we had a good one," Rutherford said. "But the truth is, he played at a higher and more consistent level than we were anticipating."

Tweet from @JoshYohe_PGH: There is a good chance Murray or Jarry will be traded after this season. Here���s my conversation with GMJR, who was typically open. Read it and sign up for 90 free days of The Athletic by clicking here: https://t.co/dJDzLn9WPa

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