How the Blackhawks acquired Murphy, how the trade stands today.
In 2017, Stan Bowman traded Hammer because his style of hockey has a tendency for its players to hit a cliff hard and fast, and he was 30 at the time. Niklas Hjalmarsson’s play never really hit that cliff, but his health in Arizona wasn’t the same and he couldn’t help that team to the same degree. In exchange for Hjalmarsson, the Hawks acquired Connor Murphy.
Connor Murphy is still suited up in a Hawks sweater, and he has an “A” stitched to it now. He’s played over 250 games for Chicago and, except for his first season in the Windy City, has averaged over 20 minutes per game against other team’s top dogs. This trade tracker is still going strong today because Murphy signed an extension with Chicago in the 2021 offseason.
So, all told, a Draft Day deal in 1999 had powered the Chicago Blackhawks to one of the best defensemen in their history, who was also one of the best defensive defenseman of the cap era, two of the three stanley cups won during their window, and is still going today in a player who has been the Blackhawk’s most consistent defenseman over recent years. Not a bad day in the office at all. Now’s the fun part, what comes next? Does Chicago trade Murphy, keeping the tree alive? Murphy could walk, ending the regular NHL player branch of the tree, relegating the existence of it to deals involving the minor players. We don’t know, and the only way to find out is to keep tuning in.
"Blackhawks: Grading Connor Murphy and a position comparison"
Sound off in the comments below and on Twitter/Facebook/etc, what do you think is the best series of trades in Blackhawks history? Personally, I think this one takes the cake for its longevity, but there could be some fun to be had out there.