Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray is expected to miss his third straight game tonight when the Anaheim Ducks visit Nationwide Arena.
According to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, Murray’s lower body injury is believed to be an ankle issue.
It’s been a rough season for the 21-year-old.
Murray missed the first seven games of the season due to off-season knee surgery.
After playing in just four games, Murray missed another 36 games with issues to the same knee.
He then returned to the Jackets lineup for three games before being sidelined for another 17 due to a high ankle sprain.
Murray has appeared in just 10 games this season registering two assists and a minus-1 rating while averaging 18:56 in ice time.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are doing well to maintain the blue line corps they had last season.
Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch reports the team has re-signed defenseman David Savard to a two-year, $2.6 million deal.
Savard, 23, has been a depth blue liner the past three seasons in Columbus, but took control of a steady position during this past campaign. He played in 70 games and had five goals and 15 points and averaged 17:50 of ice time per game. In his previous two seasons to that he played a total of 35 games in the NHL.
Savard was part of a defensive crew that featured Jack Johnson, James Wisniewski, Fedor Tyutin, and Ryan Murray as the top-four. With Nikita Nikitin off to Edmonton, he’ll have Dalton Prout and fellow restricted free agent Tim Erixon to battle it out for the remaining two spots.
One of Columbus’ few bright sports from last season will be around for the forseeable future.
According to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, the Blue Jackets have agreed to terms with RFA defenseman Nikita Nikitin — a two-year deal worth $4.3 million.
The deal will pay $1.8 million this year, $2.5 the next and will take Nikitin one year beyond UFA status.
Acquired from St. Louis in exchange for Kris Russell last November, Nikitin was a solid contributor on the Columbus blueline last season. He led all defensemen in scoring (7G-25A-32PTS) despite playing just 54 games and averaged over 23 minutes a night.
He also finished minus-5, no small feat when you log tons of minutes on a lousy team. Just ask Fedor Tuytin (minus-21), Derick Brassard (minus-20) and Rick Nash (minus-19).
The deal represents a healthy raise for the 26-year-old Russian, who played last season on a one-year, $600,00 deal.
Reactions continue to pour in from yesterday’s press conference in Columbus, when Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson told reporters it was captain Rick Nash that asked for a trade — not the other way around.
The presser has been described by many as the final argument of what will ultimately end in divorce, something expressed by the National Post’s Michael Traikos:
Why would Howson reveal this nugget of information? Why make Nash look bad? Was Howson trying to save face in front of the fans after coming away empty on Monday? Was this a hardball tactic to pressure Nash to increase the number of teams he is willing to be traded to?
This was not doing the “right thing” or being “truthful.” This was mean and hurtful.
The only logical explanation for Howson’s strategy — if you can call it that — is he tried to curry favor in the court of public opinion, which is kind of ridiculous. The best way for Howson to curry favor would be to build a good team, which will be more difficult now that his negotiating power’s weakened. How can Howson deal from a position of strength when it’s clear Nash is calling the shots?
More, from Traikos:
Howson has to make sure he does not let his golden goose walk for nothing. He has the Jackets’ future to think of. He has his own job to think of. But his outing of Nash’s wishes to get out of Columbus rather than stay for another rebuilding process will likely not end well. Those players who are set to become free agents in the summer will remember how Howson handled the situation.
The delicious, delicious irony here is that during yesterday’s presser, Howson talked about the need to “create a winning culture to attract free agents.” And he said this in the middle of a press conference calling out the team captain.
If that doesn’t say “organization I want to be a part of,” I’m not sure what does.