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Blackhawks have talked to Blue Jackets about trade for defenseman Ryan Murray, per report

The 25-year-old is set to become a restricted free agent this summer.

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NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Columbus Blue Jackets Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Blackhawks have talked to the Blue Jackets about acquiring defenseman Ryan Murray, a league source tells Scott Powers of The Athletic.

Murray, who will turn 26 in September, is a left-handed blue liner that scored one goal and 28 assists while posting a 50.1 Corsi-For percentage in 56 games this past season. The former 2012 first-round pick is set to become a restricted free agent this summer and is projected to command a three-year contract worth $4,146,272, according to Evolving-Hockey.

One reason the Blue Jackets might be willing to part with the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Murray is his injury issues. He’s only played 65 percent of the possible games he could have since he entered the league in 2013, and he missed time this past season due to an upper-body injury that caused him to sit out Columbus’ playoff run.

Powers mentions draft picks as a potential compensation factor for Murray. Chicago has seven picks in this year’s draft — none in the third and two in the fourth round — and seven in next year’s draft with one in each round. Columbus, meanwhile, only has one in the third and one in seventh for this year. If Matt Duchene re-signs with Columbus, Ottawa will receive the Blue Jackets’ 2020 first-round pick. The Senators already hold Columbus’ 2020 second- and third-round picks from the Duchene and Ian Cole trades, respectively.

If acquired, Murray would be the fourth former first-round pick Chicago will have traded for since November. The Blackhawks sent forward Nick Schmaltz to the Coyotes for forwards Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini, in a swap involving three former first-rounders. In January, Chicago traded defenseman Jan Rutta and a 2019 seventh-round pick to the Lightning for defenseman Slater Koekkoek and a 2019 fifth-round pick. Strome and Koekkoek are both under contract for next season, with the latter signing a one-year extension worth $925,000 in May. Perlini is set to become a restricted free agent.

Murray would slot into a second-pairing role on the left side behind veteran Duncan Keith. Connor Murphy would likely be Murray’s defensive partner.

Keith — Henri Jokiharju

Murray — Murphy

Erik GustafssonBrent Seabrook

Carl Dahlstrom, who signed a two-year extension with a $850,000 annual salary cap hit in March, and Koekkoek would likely battle it out for the seventh defenseman role in this hypothetical lineup.


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