The Edmonton Oilers have signed defenseman Ryan Murray to a one-year contract with a league minimum of $750,000.
Murray was an unrestricted free agent after completing a one-year, $2 million contract he signed with the Colorado Avalanche. He’s a former second overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, which brings an interesting connection to the Oilers since they had the first pick in that draft and went with Nail Yakupov, who only played six seasons. and 350 NHL games. Murray has had slightly more success in his NHL career, aside from struggling to stay healthy, with 432 games over nine seasons.
Murray wasn’t a consistent roster option for the Avalanche in 2021-22, despite winning the Stanley Cup, so they had several options to choose from ahead of him. He had just four assists in the 37 games he managed to play and didn’t make the playoffs for them, even with Samuel Girard’s injury.
However, Murray is more known for his defensive contributions than his offense. He was a dependable defender, especially in those peak years for the Columbus Blue Jackets when their defensive system flourished under John Tortorella. He’s struggled for the Avs in 2021-22, with just a 50.22% shot attempt share and an expected 50.07% goal share at even strength. Those numbers look good at first glance, but compared to his teammates, they were -4.97% and -4.48% respectively, so that helped playing for a dominant team like the Avs.
For the Oilers, Murray brings experience and depth to their blue line, which is still needed despite strong advances in 2021-22. He has little impact on the league’s minimum cap, which helps for a team that’s about $400,000 over the cap with the contracts of Oskar Klefbom and Mike Smith on long-term injured reserve. and a restricted free agent to Ryan McLeod to sign.