Murray takes a positive view of his new world with the Belleville Senators

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Before hitting the road for the first time with the Belleville Senators on Tuesday, Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray spoke about the whirlwind of his life over the past week.

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After forwarding Postmedia’s interview requests to Belleville on Monday, Murray appeared and appeared in an upbeat mood in a conversation involving reporters from Athletic and Belleville.

In his media appearances since joining the Senators – all but a few via Zoom – Murray has talked a lot about maintaining a holistic perspective on his game and his life in general.

That hasn’t changed, even after being placed on waivers last weekend and passing an assist to the other 31 NHL teams.

As he prepared to board the Belleville team bus for the four-hour ride from the club to Utica for a game on Wednesday night, he spoke positively.

“I’m fine,” Murray said in the interview, which was posted on the Belleville Senators website. “I’m thankful where it’s close enough that I can get home (to Ottawa) on most training days.

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For now, anyway, Murray’s wife and daughter will stay in Ottawa while the goalie works to rediscover his AHL form.

He hasn’t spoken with Senators general manager Pierre Dorion in the past week and says the Senators haven’t given him any indication of how long he could play with Belleville.

With a 0-5-0 record this season and a 10-18-1 record so far in his Senators career, he needs to find something in the AHL to start his career in Ottawa. Murray is making $ 6 million this season. After the 2021-22 season, he has two years and $ 15 million left, with an annual salary cap of $ 6.25 million, which means there is a possibility that he will be bought out of his contract.

Murray last played in the Senators’ 6-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Nov. 24 and admitted some “confusion” about the sequence of events that brought him back to the AHL .

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He did not dress for the Senators game against the Anaheim Ducks on November 26 and was advised by coach DJ Smith after the game that he was placed on waiver. When he got the green light, Deputy Director General Peter MacTavish broke the news.

“They said it was a management decision, that’s about all I’ve got, so I’m here and I’m going to try to make the most of my time here,” said Murray, who returned to Ottawa before the end of the Senators road trip.

His opinion on the club’s decision? “The confusion, honestly, was the main one. But at the end of the day, I thought about what I wanted to get out of it. I’m here (in Belleville) to make the most of it and keep an eye on the price and possibly get up there as soon as possible.

Murray’s season started off on the wrong foot when he missed Game 1 after contracting the flu. When he got back into the net he struggled. He appeared set to clinch victory over the New York Rangers on October 23 before being knocked out of the game when Chris Kreider’s knee hit him in the head, knocking him out yet again.

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In early November, Murray was then part of the group of 10 Senators who tested positive for Covid-19.

“It hit me pretty hard,” said Murray, who couldn’t train for six days and was off the ice for 10 days.

After coming out of Covid-19, his only game was against the Sharks, where he allowed four goals on 27 shots.

After that game, Senators coach DJ Smith spoke openly about the need for a goalie to build up strength and win a game for the young team.

On Tuesday, Murray was asked if he had been selected as a “scapegoat” for the Senators’ struggles, last in the NHL with a 4-14-1 record.

“Yeah, yeah … I also think that’s part of what you get into as a goalie … I think it comes with the territory,” he said.

“I obviously think I wasn’t good enough to win. I don’t think I was bad, but I wasn’t good enough to win and that’s what it is in the NHL.

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As to when Murray will first score the net in the AHL, Belleville coach Troy Mann told Postmedia he will speak with Murray and Senators management before a decision is made.

Murray praised Belleville for his professionalism, including all of the communications he received from Mann. He also has a strong relationship with Belleville goalie coach Justin Peters and says he’s looking forward to working alongside goaltender hopeful Mads Sogaard.

“It’s frustrating to manage in the short term, but when I think of a big picture, those feelings kind of even out and I want to stay focused on one day at a time,” he said, also thanking his relatives for their support. .

kwarren@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/Citizenkwarren

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