After watching several top players walk out the door, the Columbus Blue Jackets have come to terms with one of their restricted free agents. Ryan Murray has signed two-year deal with the team, and Aaron Portzline of The Athletic reports that it will be worth an average annual value of $4.6MM.
Murray has been a tough player for the Blue Jackets to read over the years as the team has always had high expectations from him after the team used the second-overall pick in the 2012 draft on him. However, injuries have prevented him from showing off his talent as in his six NHL seasons, he’s only had one season where he played in all 82 games. The next highest number was 66 in his rookie campaign. Last season, the 25-year-old appeared in 56 games, putting up a career-high 29 points, suggesting that his offensive skills have improved.
Murray was discussed earlier last month as a trade chip with rumors that Columbus and Chicago had been discussing a swap, but nothing materialized. The $4.6MM AAV will be a significant raise for Murray as he was entering his final year as a restricted free agent. He made $2.83MM on a one-year deal last season. The two-year deal guarantees that the blueliner will have to wait until after the 2021-22 season to become an unrestricted free agent, which will give Columbus even more time to decide whether they would want to hold onto him long-term. He should be battling alongside newcomer Vladislav Gavrikov and David Savard for top-four minutes next season.