Key 3: Be a leader
Murphy’s play was good enough last year that he should be able to lead on the ice, especially considering the so-called “youth movement” that Chicago is embracing. It’s unlikely that he gets a letter on his uniform, but even without that, he should be as much of the team’s leadership as any other veteran player at this point.
Even if he hasn’t been with Chicago for his whole career, he’s been in the league since 2013-2014. For a professional athlete, that’s a fair amount of time, and he doesn’t have a significant history of being sent back down the AHL. Pretty much, once he came up in his first season, he was up for good.
The experience he’s earned, especially considering how bad Arizona was when he played there, is vital to helping younger players work their way through Chicago’s tough times. He’d probably be an even better candidate than Toews or Kane since they’ve mostly known winning, or at least experienced the team’s ascent and lofty heights. Murphy has a history of having to play on bad teams, and still be able to play his best. Considering what’s to come for Chicago, this is an important psychological aspect of the game that he can pass on to younger players.
However, will he still be with the team much longer? That’s the real question for Murphy. If there was a single player on the team that could be traded, and without much issue, it’s Murphy.
Chicago needs to make room for younger players, and it’s hard to see the team committing to Murphy for the long haul. He’ll be 28 next year, and like Calvin de Haan, it just doesn’t seem likely he’s in the organization’s long-term plan. Depending on where things are at for the trade deadline, or what offers might come Chicago’s way, Murphy is probably going to be traded. If that’s the case, hopefully, he’ll fetch a decent return and Murphy will be heading to a competitor to chase a cup.