A former Toronto Maple Leafs employee has just dropped a bombshell on the hockey world, a bombshell that reveals that the fate of both the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Pittsburgh Penguins could have been very different indeed.
During "The Full 60," a hockey podcast hosted by veteran National Hockey League reporter Craig Custance, former Toronto Marlies assistant coach Justin Bourne revealed how goaltender Matt Murray was nearly traded to the Maple Leafs.
Bourne stated that the Penguins had made a number of offers to the Maple Leafs in an attempt to acquire talented goal-scorer Phil Kessel, a deal that as we all know would eventually become a reality. When Custance pressed him on some names that may have been offered in other variations of the deal, Bourne revealed that Murray was on the list.
"The one that comes to mind is Matt Murray," said Bourne during the show. "There was a scenario where he comes, and that was before they traded for Frederik Andersen."
While fans in Toronto may be kicking themselves right now as the dream about what the team would look like with a player like Matt Murray, the fact that the deal didn't go through likely worked out for both teams in the long-term.
First the Penguins almost certainly would have never won back to back Stanley Cups without Murray in goal, and that alone must make the team very happy that they didn't make the deal.
As for Toronto it's likely equally beneficial that they didn't acquire Murray in the deal. If they had Murray in goal would the team have been bad enough to earn the lottery spot that eventually netted them superstar forward Auston Matthews? The answer to that question is probably not, and they likely also wouldn't have been given the draft pick that they eventually used to acquire Andersen as their goalie of the future if Murray was part of the deal for Kessel.
It really is incredible to think just how drastically things could be for both teams today, and not likely for the better, if that specific deal had eventually been agreed upon by both sides.