Connect with us

2024 Blackhawks Bottom Line

Blackhawks Bottom Line: Could Connor Murphy Be Dealt This Offseason?

Published

on

Over the course of the next month, Chicago Hockey Now will be profiling every Chicago Blackhawks player from the 2023-24 season. Today will be defenseman Connor Murphy.

Connor Murphy
Defenseman
Games Played: 46
(Goals – Assists – Points): 2-6-8
Contract Status: 2 seasons remaining; $4.4M AAV

The Short View

The Chicago Blackhawks didn’t see Connor Murphy play in enough games this season–it’s another season in which he was out a lot due to injuries. He played 80 games in 2022-23 which gave people hope for him going forward but the problems came back this season.

He has only played more than 58 games twice with the Blackhawks in his seven years with the team. The tough truth: one can’t positively impact his team if you are out of the lineup almost as much as you are in it.

He only had two goals and six assists for eight points but again, he was limited injury wise. He isn’t expected to be Erik Karlsson out there but was on pace to beat last year’s totals.

It’s not as if Murphy doesn’t know that, either. At locker clean out, he sounded relieved knowing he’d get some to recoup a bit.

“It’s nice to have the offseason now to not have a timeline in mind of needing to be back before the season ends and games and stuff,” Murphy said.  “To have time to get my mind off it and let it have its space to relax.”

The Long View

There are already rumors that the Hawks may consider trading Murphy. A team deep on defense looking to just get a little bit more lethal may consider him. If any contenders could use a solid veteran may consider it as well. He is an injury risk but some teams may be able to afford that risk more than the Blackhawks.

Elliotte Friedman mentioned him as a potential trade target in his latest “32 Thoughts” blog. It would certainly be something to consider. Some teams wanted him before the deadline but he ended up getting hurt. It should be interesting to see where things end up for him over the summer.

The Bottom Line

It was a bad idea to trade Nicklas Hjalmarsson to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Connor Murphy. Although Hjalmarsson is long retired and Murphy is still in his prime, the timelines didn’t match up.

The former may have helped the window of contention stay open longer while Murphy still had some developing to do when he first came over. The veteran made more sense at the time of the trade.

That doesn’t speak to Murphy as a player when he is healthy. His prime is just being wasted on a developing roster that is rebuilding. It might be good for everyone involved if he got a change of scenery. Most people believe that Connor Bedard is going to succeed in bringing this team back to the glory days but it is going to take a while. Likely, Murphy won’t be around for those days.

If Murphy does return to Chicago, there are numerous positives to take out of it. The young defenseman in the organization will have another veteran to look up to for another year. It also provides a stable pairing partner for Kevin Korchinski or even Ethan Del Mastro should he be in Chicago full time.

If he can stay healthy, he can help this team win games. Again, this won’t be a contender in 2024-25 but Kyle Davidson  doesn’t want them to not be a bottom dweller next year.

The decision made on this defenseman could get interesting. His year didn’t force the Hawks to keep him for the long haul but it is mostly due to injuries. Not trading him wouldn’t be the worst thing ever either.

There’s no rush but there’s certainly a number of routes that could work out for both sides–regardless of what is chosen.

Previous Blackhawks Bottom Line Entries

Seth Jones |

 

Discover more from Chicago Hockey Now

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading