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The imminent arbitration ruling for Ilya Samsonov will trigger a buyout window for the Maple Leafs, but will they use it?

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Photo credit:Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Alberga
8 months ago
With a ruling on the Ilya Samsonov arbitration case imminently coming this weekend, all eyes thereafter will turn to the Matt Murray situation.
Once the arbitrator hands out their ruling, it will activate a second buyout window for the Maple Leafs to use at their disposal.
Unfortunately, there’s no certainty the Leafs will actually be able to utilize a buyout on Murray in the coming days. Earlier this week, Elliotte Friedman intimated during a hit on NHL Network that the 29-year-old’s injury history could prevent that from happening.
“Now, there is some questions about Murray’s health. He’s had some concussion history unfortunately. He’s had an ankle injury, too. I think the biggest question was going to be if the Maple Leafs were going to be able to buy him, if they wanted to.”
If that’s the case, the other options at play here could be placing him on LTIR once the season starts or trading him outright. If the Leafs decided to do the latter, they almost undoubtedly will have to include a sweetener, something they’ve been reluctant in doing to this point. Think Nick Robertson.
Translation: This is far from over. Fascinating times ahead for resident capologist Brandon Pridham —that’s for sure. Of course, sadly, all this was avoidable and preventable. When the Leafs went out and acquired Matt Murray last summer from Ottawa, it was a highly scrutinized move for a reason. And well, look how it played out.
It’s not the end of the world, but, specifically in this situation, a buyout would be the most ideal play for the Leafs. At the very least, it would give them a bit more cap flexibility for the upcoming season, even with Jake Muzzin heading to LTIR when the season begins. The biggest hurdle, however, is Murray’s health. If deemed injured, a buyout is not possible.
We’ll see how it all plays out.

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