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Colorado Avalanche

Ryan Murray Signs 1-Yr Deal With Colorado Avalanche

The Colorado Avalanche have added to an already stacked blueline heading into the 2021-22 season, as they announced Monday the team has agreed to terms with defenceman Ryan Murray on a one-year, $2 million deal.

Related: Oilers and Nurse Move From 4-Yr to 8-Yr Contract Extension, Deal Close

Murray, 27, had spent his entire career with the Columbus Blue Jackets prior to being traded to the New Jersey Devils during the 2020 offseason. In 48 games with the Devils he was unable to score a goal but did put up 14 assists, while also going plus3 which is pretty impressive given his teams struggles.

Murray came into the NHL with a ton of promise after being drafted second overall in 2012, but has yet to live up to that lofty position, mainly due to injuries. Through his eight seasons in the league, he has played north of 70 games just once. When healthy, he has been a solid defenceman throughout his 395 game NHL career, registering 15 goals and 124 points.

If he can stay healthy, this deal could be a huge bargain for the Avalanche as he is capable of playing around 20 minutes a night and is on a blueline that features a ton of talent. With the addition of Murray, along with guys like Cale Makar, Sam Girard, Devon Toews, and the young and upcoming Bowen Byram, you could make the argument that they have the best back end in the entire NHL.

Ryan Murray Blue Jackets Upper Deck
Ryan Murray Blue Jackets Upper Deck

Much like they will be again this upcoming season, the Avalanche were considered one of the favorites throughout the entire league to win the Stanley Cup in 2020-21. Early on in the playoffs they came as advertised, knocking off the St. Louis Blues in the opening round in just four games and winning the first two games in the second round against the Vegas Golden Knights. The Golden Knights were able to shock them however, winning the next four straight to send the Avalanche home.

This collapse led to many questioning their blueline, as they seemed to get pushed around and often seemed quite overwhelmed on the big stage. Bringing in a veteran like Murray should help with that and certainly could pay dividends in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The big thing for him now is just whether or not he can stay healthy.

Next: Kraken Forced to Restructure Philipp Grubauer’s Contract

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