We’ve written quite a bit about Carolina’s blueline this season — first, the high expectations for what looked like a promising young group, then, how badly things went through the opening month.
Now, another angle to cover: Trade talk!
[Ryan Murphy] doesn’t seem to be a fit for Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters. Murphy’s name has been used as trade bait for months, but now the Canes are actively shopping him. With a salary of $750,000 this year and $825,000 next season, the 23-year-old, right-shot defenceman will likely be on the move.
The Hurricanes were among the clubs most interested in Anaheim’s Cam Fowler before Hampus Lindholm signed his extension, so clearly Carolina is hoping to upgrade its blueline and would include Murphy as part of a deal.
Murphy, a former first-round pick, only recently returned to the ‘Canes lineup after missing time with a lower-body injury. The return was supposed to be a boon for sophomore Noah Hanifin, who’s struggled to find a consistent d-man partner this year after playing extended lengths of time with Murphy last season.
What’s more, Peters said Murphy’s presence in the lineup would make an impact.
“He’s a valuable guy,” Peters said, per the ‘Canes website. “He’s a puck-mover, and we’ve had a hard time moving the puck out of our zone in transition.”
Things haven’t exactly panned out for either party thus far. In just four games played, Murphy’s averaging a meager 13 minutes per night, and has just one point.
That said, Murphy could have some value across the league. He’s a right-handed shot, which is vital, and a good skater with nice passing vision. Injuries have been a problem throughout his four-year career, though, and he’s never played more than 48 games in a single season.
In the big picture, it looks like Carolina GM Ron Francis wants a mulligan on his plan for the defense. He’s already cut ties with stopgap signing Jakub Nakladal, and waiver wire pickup Klas Dahlbeck has been in and out of the lineup.
Those two were chosen in favor of young prospects Roland McKeown and Haydn Fleury, both of whom are currently with AHL Charlotte.