The Chicago Blackhawks will have to continue to shuffle pieces this offseason no matter what direction they decide to take the team in. Connor Murphy is one player who could be dealt.
Connor Murphy is one of the Chicago Blackhawks’ most reliable defensemen. Added to the Blackhawks in the 2017 offseason in a trade involving Niklas Hjalmarsson, Murphy has gotten better every season. Chicago’s defense is nothing to be proud of, but Murphy is one of those pieces that has constantly stood out for his defensive play.
Connor Murphy is 27 years old and has two years remaining on a 3.85 million dollar contract. The Blackhawks could use Murphy in their own end, especially if they want to have any chance at making the playoffs or being competitive. Oh, wait! Stan Bowman has other ideas.
Stan Bowman has made it clear that he is looking to the future. Rather than try to build up a roster that can take a step forward next year, the team is deciding to focus more on giving the new young generation a chance.
That would hopefully include defensemen Ian Mitchell, Adam Boqvist, and Nicolas Beaudin. Wyatt Kalynuk is another name I believe this blue line will see in the next few seasons, as Kalynuk has shown strides to show that he could play in the NHL. Kalynuk and Mitchell are similar defensemen who could both jump to the NHL from college or after a year in the AHL.
Chicago is only going to be able to give these young guys NHL spots and playing time if they move players off of their roster. They are going to have a hard time trading Keith or Seabrook as both have no-movement clauses. So Murphy and de Haan are the team’s next best options on the blue line.
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Connor Murphy could generate the Blackhawks some wonderful assets in a trade. The team should secure a few second or third-round picks and maybe even a prospect for Murphy.
If Chicago is really looking to rebuild their roster from the ground up, trading away a player like Connor Murphy while he still has a few years on his contract and would not be just a rental might be the best move for the team.