The Columbus Blue Jackets will soon get a boost to their blue line, but they’ll have to wait just a little bit longer. The team announced today that they have activated Ryan Murray from the injured reserve, but have assigned him to the AHL for a conditioning stint. Murray will play at least a game or two for the Cleveland Monsters before returning to the Columbus lineup.
Murray, 24, suffered an undisclosed upper-body injury back in November and has missed the team’s past 34 games. Murray’s early NHL career has been marred by injury, as he missed 22 games last season and all but 12 games in 2014-15 due to various maladies. Even when healthy, Murray has lacked the offensive impact he showed in juniors an in his 24-point rookie season. In the 24 games he has suited up for in 2017-18, Murray has only five points. The 2012 second-overall pick came with, understandably, high expectations that he has yet to reach due to his lack of play time.
Yet, there is still much potential for the smooth-skating defenseman to realize. Although he has been passed up by the likes of Zach Werenski and Seth Jones in Columbus, the Blue Jackets remain committed to Murray and he will surely fill an important role once for the team once he returns. Especially if the Jackets are entertaining ideas of trading away Jack Johnson before the NHL Trade Deadline while still trying to make the playoffs, Murray will be looked upon for solid play and big minutes. The conditioning stint in the AHL will be Murray’s first ever AHL action, after jumping right to the NHL from the WHL, and will hopefully both give him confidence and get him back in game shape and ready to help Columbus down the stretch – they need him.