The Chicago Blackhawks are anticipated to be one of many busiest groups at this 12 months’s commerce deadline. That is completely comprehensible, as they’re in a full-on rebuild and have a number of notable commerce candidates. Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Max Domi are a couple of of them, however one other participant who we might see dealt on the deadline is shutdown defenseman, Connor Murphy.
Murphy is a stable top-four defenseman who carries a $4.4 million cap hit till the top of the 2025-26 season. General, that’s acceptable for what he supplies, so there’s no query that there can be loads of suitors for his providers if basic supervisor (GM) Kyle Davidson formally makes him out there. Though he has a 10-team no-trade record, the Blackhawks nonetheless have an excellent quantity of wiggle room to search out him a brand new house in the event that they want to. Let’s now have a look at three potential touchdown spots for the 6-foot-4 defenseman.
Toronto Maple Leafs
In a latest article, fellow THW author Shaun Filippelli argued that Murphy can be “the right match” to switch the injured Jake Muzzin of their lineup, and I agree along with his place. Though the Toronto Maple Leafs are an elite crew with regards to their ahead group, they actually might use one other glorious defensive defenseman of their lineup for the playoffs. Like Muzzin, Murphy performs an especially accountable defensive recreation and brings a pleasant aspect of grit within the course of. All of this could make him an excellent addition to the Maple Leafs’ roster.
With Muzzin, Morgan Rielly, T.J. Brodie, and Jordie Benn all presently sidelined for the Maple Leafs, I’d argue that basic supervisor (GM) Kyle Dubas needs to be working the telephones instantly. If acquired, Murphy can be a right away match of their high 4 and will play on the crew’s present high pairing with Mark Giordano. With that, he would work splendidly on Toronto’s penalty-kill unit as a consequence of his robust play within the defensive zone.
The Blackhawks would seemingly search two second-round picks and a prospect from the Maple Leafs in a commerce centering round Murphy. One prospect who stands out from their roster is 6-foot-2, left-shot defenseman, Filip Kral. The 23-year-old appears to be on the verge of turning into an NHL-caliber participant, so he might be a part of the Blackhawks instantly if acquired.
After an underwhelming inaugural season in 2021-22, the Seattle Kraken have been on fireplace this 12 months so far. On the time of this writing, they’ve a 15-5-3 document and are second within the Pacific Division. With this, they stand an excellent probability of creating the playoffs for the primary time in franchise historical past. Nevertheless, to assist make this come to fruition, they’d be smart to discover the buying and selling market. After their 9-8 win towards the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday (Nov. 29) night time, I’d argue that it’s important for them to herald one other defensive defenseman earlier than the deadline. Murphy, in fact, matches that description properly.
Associated: Blackhawks Ought to Goal 4 Bruins Gamers in Kane Commerce
Newest Information & Highlights
If the Kraken have been to accumulate Murphy, he would instantly strengthen their defensive group. He might exchange William Borgen within the lineup and play on any of the crew’s three pairings. Having a proper aspect of Murphy, Vince Dunn, and Justin Schultz would make Seattle’s roster very deep, so that is actually an avenue that GM Ron Francis ought to contemplate. With that, Seattle’s penalty kill might use a lift, so there might very properly be a match right here with Murphy.
Apart from two second-round picks, one Kraken prospect who might seize the eye of Davidson in a deal centering round Murphy is Ville Ottavainen. The 6-foot-5, right-shot defenseman is presently enjoying for JYP within the Finnish Liiga, the place he has 4 objectives and two assists in 17 video games.
St. Louis Blues
The 2022-23 season has been a rollercoaster for the St. Louis Blues. On the time of this writing, they’ve an 11-12-0 document. Though they’ve been capable of bounce again since their 3-8-0 begin, it’s obvious that they’re nonetheless having some hassle discovering consistency. Heading into the season, they have been anticipated to be contenders, however at this juncture, they don’t seem to be enjoying wherever near that. One space that would use some enchancment is the best aspect of their protection, so Murphy might actually be a participant they need to contemplate.
If the Blues acquired Murphy, he might exchange Colton Parayko on the crew’s high pairing. It has been a season to overlook for the latter so far, as he has 4 assists and a minus-12 score in 20 video games. But, even when they determined to maintain Parayko on the primary pairing, Murphy may very well be a major improve over Robert Bortuzzo on the underside pairing. With that, Murphy would offer extra stability on the Blues’ penalty kill, and that’s one thing they may use proper now.
One Blues prospect who the Blackhawks would seemingly like to get their palms on is Matt Kessel. The 6-foot-3, right-shot defenseman is having a powerful begin to the 12 months with the Springfield Thunderbirds, as he has two objectives and 10 factors in 19 video games. If he retains this type of play up, he may very well be prepared for the NHL by subsequent season.
However, time will inform if the Blackhawks resolve to maneuver Murphy earlier than the deadline. These three groups might actually use him, so we should wait and see in the event that they make a push for him from right here.
Michael DeRosa is a contributor who covers the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, & Detroit Pink Wings for The Hockey Writers. Since 2017, he’s written and edited for quite a few web sites. Apart from his work for THW, you too can discover him on NHL Commerce Rumors.