This in from TSN’s Pierre LeBrun: “The Oilers and Penguins have talked about Matt Murray, I’m told, but as far as I can tell, asking price too rich for Edmonton at this point (first-round pick?). I think Edmonton will be patient in its goalie search. And the Oil hasn’t ruled out bringing back Mike Smith, either.’
This is good news on Murray. His price in trade isn’t likely to go up as time passes, it’s likely to go down. With so many NHL teams rumoured to be focused on spending less money this year, and with the salary cap flat, the trade and free agent market is likely to drive down both salaries and the value of players, in particular costly players like Murray, as time goes by. This is especially true in the goaltender market where there will be a glut this off-season. Some Oilers fans will react negatively to the news that the Oilers have not ruled out brining back Mike Smith, but I see that as a positive. Why would Ken Holland rule out an option, even if that’s evidently not his first choice as seen with Edmonton’s pursuit of Matt Murray. For one thing, keeping the option of going back to Smith improves Edmonton’s bargaining position when it comes to other teams and free agents. If Holland has multiple options, no one team or agent can put the screws to him.
As seen from the list above, Smith isn’t a great choice to come back. This list shows the even strength goalie save percentage of NHL starters for the last two seasons. Smith is the third worst goalie on this list. It’s not …read more
Source:: Edmonton Journal – Sports