Ryan Murphy: 2016-17 Carolina Hurricanes report card

Ryan Murphy: 2016-17 Carolina Hurricanes report card

For anyone catching up, a menu of previous player (and also coaching and GM) report cards can be found at the bottom of the article. Ryan Murphy’s starting point for the 2016-17 season As a suddenly ‘needs to be maturing’ prospect at 22 years old, Ryan Murphy had a tough 2015-16 season both individually and in terms of the circumstances around him. He was very quickly leapfrogged on the Hurricanes’ blue line depth chart times three when the Hurricanes drafted Noah Hanifin and then Brett Pesce and later Jaccob Slavin made the jump almost straight from NCAA hockey into regular roles in the NHL. Murphy was suddenly no better than fifth or sixth even on a futuristic depth chart. Individually, the 2015-16 season was not much better. The season started okay. Murphy found himself as half of the third defense pairing along with rookie Noah Hanifin. To this day, I continue to grumble about both players needing to play to their strengths as skaters and puck carriers, but with Hanifin an 18-year old jumping from a single season in college and Murphy still trying to get his feet firmly under him at the NHL level, their conservative, safe and sound start was not a horrible thing.  Murphy had a quiet but steady October playing with Hanifin, but then a lesser November kicked off a winter of being in and out of the lineup and up and down from the AHL. Surpassed by Pesce and Slavin, Murphy did not check back into the NHL lineup on a full-time basis until the trade deadline made room. He had a decent March/April...
Hurricanes re-sign Ryan Murphy – Thoughts

Hurricanes re-sign Ryan Murphy – Thoughts

It has suddenly turned into a busy news day for Hurricanes hockey. Mid-afternoon it was announced that the Hurricanes had re-signed AHL-level restricted free agents Keegan Lowe, Brendan Woods, Brody Sutter and Dennis Robertson.  Then not too much later, it was announced that the Hurricanes had re-signed Ryan Murphy for 2 years for $750,000 in 2016-17 and $825,000 in 2017-18. As a player who split time between Charlotte and Raleigh last season, the range of possibilities was fairly narrow. I have long had it pegged at $800,000 to $1.2 million and would have taken an even $1 million for a guess. So roughly $800,000 is obviously on the low end of that range. Just this morning I wrote about Murphy’s contract situation and about 2016-17 being a make or break season for him with the Hurricanes. Price So as noted above, you almost literally cannot beat the price that is only a tiny bit north of the league minimum and easily in the range of what is normally paid to #7/depth defensemen. I believe I am correct in saying that the qualifying offer could have been a 2-way deal but there really is no point. Murphy would need to clear waivers to go to the AHL this season at which point someone would take the free flyer and claim him.   Term The real issue to be sorted out was whether the contract would be for 1 or 2 years. I really like the idea of adding the second year for only $825,000. It is good in multiple ways. First, it is a fair price for 2017-18 even if...
Ryan Murphy sent to Charlotte — Quick thoughts

Ryan Murphy sent to Charlotte — Quick thoughts

On Thursday, the Carolina Hurricanes sent Ryan Murphy to the Charlotte Checkers with the expectation that he will play on Saturday. The big positive here is that Murphy is returning pretty quickly from a concussion that occurred in the Flyers game on November 14.   Why it make sense After about a 2-week layoff from game action, the biggest thing is to get Murphy back into the swing of things and playing regular minutes. With Jaccob Slavin 3 games into his first NHL stint and holding his own at the NHL level, the move to send Murphy to Charlotte makes sense for a few reasons. First, Francis and Peters at a minimum probably want a longer look at Slavin in the NHL lineup after a decent start and just getting to the point where he settles in. Second, Ryan Murphy needs ice time. As a young player and especially after a layoff, he needs to get out and play 20+ minutes of hockey on a regular basis.   Rational for rehab versus just being sent to AHL Some might question why this was not an injury rehab assignment. The use of that is really more for players who must go through waivers. For those players, it offers a way to send them briefly to the AHL without the risk of having them claimed by another team. Ryan Murphy does not need to clear waivers and is also on a 2-way contract. The upshot for the Hurricanes is that if they actually send him to Charlotte NOT on a rehab assignment is that the AHL part of his contract kicks...
7 D in 7 Days: Ryan Murphy – On the clock for seizing a spot

7 D in 7 Days: Ryan Murphy – On the clock for seizing a spot

Ryan Murphy is player #2 in what I hope will be ‘7 D in 7 days. First up yesterday was John-Michael Liles whose write up can be found HERE. When I categorize the youth in the system on defense, most players fit pretty neatly into 1 of 2 categories. ‘The old guard’ are the experienced AHLers (22+ years old) who are a bit older and with significant AHL experience but not yet able to crack the NHL. In this group, I included Keegan Lowe, Danny Biega, Rasmus Rissanen and even to some degree Michal Jordan though he is different in that he has risen to the top of this group and has a 1-way contract that makes him likely to spend the season at the NHL level. ‘The young guns’ are the promising batch of younger (18-21 years old) prospects who as a group look promising. This group is just starting to matriculate to the AHL level. The group includes Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce, Noah Hanifin, Trevor Carrick and Tyler Ganly who will play the 2015-16 season at the NHL or AHL level. It also includes Haydn Fleury, Roland McKeown, Josh Wesley and a couple other more recent draftees who will spend the 2015-16 season in Canadian juniors or the US college ranks. Of this group, only Trevor Carrick has any significant professional experience (1 season in the AHL for Carrick). Then there is the curious case of Ryan Murphy. Age and experience-wise, he fits in the ‘old guard’ category but is different in that he has a high upside and the potential to be a higher-end NHL player....
The Ryan Murphy blog — Is this his year?

The Ryan Murphy blog — Is this his year?

Fairly recently, Ryan Murphy would have rated as the Carolina Hurricanes top prospect from a system that was light on high potential defenseman.  Fast forward a couple years and things have changed significantly.  In consecutive drafts, the Canes have taken a defenseman with a high first round pick getting Haydn Fleury at #7 in 2014 and Noah Hanifin at #5 in 2015.  And along the way a couple other skating, puck-moving defensemen drafted a bit later have progressed well.  The result is Jaccob Slavin, Trevor Carrick, Brett Pesce and Roland McKeown bring additional options closer to the NHL level.  As a Canes fan, I am thrilled with sudden volume and quality of the potential of the defensemen now in the system.  The key word is potential.  Of the group only Trevor Carrick has any significant AHL experience (couple others have 1-4 games at tail end of season), and combined they have exactly zero games experience at the NHL level.  Because of the elite talent level of Hanifin and Fleury, it is possible that they just Ekblad their way into the NHL and look surprisingly ready despite lack of experience.  But that is not the norm.  The norm is a gradual progression that sees a few of these players grow to be good NHL players, but in 2-3 years. So in a nutshell, you could generalize the group as very high on potential but incredibly light on any real experience. Then there is Ryan Murphy.  He is suddenly old news, but at least in terms of experience, the defenseman who has more worked his way toward being ready for the...