NHLTR Mock Trade: Maple Leafs' Matt Murray to the San Jose Sharks

Welcome to NHLTR mock trade series where we will showcase a potential 2023 offseason trade. From minor moves to major transactions, everything will be covered as we try to predict how the chips may fall this summer across the NHL.

For the first installment let's dive into two teams heading in opposite directions - the Toronto Maple Leafs and San Jose Sharks. The Leafs and Sharks have completed business in the past and there could be matching needs for both hockey clubs this summer.

Mock Trade: Maple Leafs trade Matt Murray and a draft pick to the Sharks for a seventh-round pick in 2023. 

Toronto's Perspective: The Maple Leafs are going with Ilya Samsonov and Joseph Woll next season and need to get out of Murray's $4.6 million cap hit. The two-time Stanley Cup champion couldn't stay healthy in Toronto this season and needs to find a spot to get some playing time in a quiet market to hit the reset button on his career. While it wasn't always pretty, in 2022-23 Murray recorded a 14-8-2 record with a 3.01 GAA and .903 SV.%. If a trade doesn't materialize for the Maple Leafs, look for the team to use the buy out window to cut ties.

San Jose's Perspective: The Sharks are rebuilding and currently only have Kaapo Kahkonen under contract for 2023-24. James Reimer won't be back and the team needs a veteran who can come in and push Kahkonen for minutes. Murray's a perfect replacement for Reimer as he's a veteran presence who has won two Stanley Cups and can show the young players in San Jose what it takes to win in this league. It's a low-risk high-reward type of transaction for the Sharks because if Murray plays well next season, they can flip him next spring as the rental goalie market is always hot ahead of the trade deadline.  

Photo credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports