Late this evening a trade between The New Jersey Devils and The Columbus Blue Jackets was announced. New Jersey traded for defenseman Ryan Murray. Murray was a second overall pick in 2012 and was one of Columbus’s top defenseman. He will be playing the 2021 season in New Jersey.
The Devils gave up a fifth-round pick in next year’s draft. One reason The Devils were as bad as they were last year was their lack of physical defensemen. That is exactly what Murray is. He will probably be a second pair defenseman along with Will Butcher. The two should make a solid par being that Butcher has above average offensive talent. This makes it back to back offseasons that The Devils have acquired a top defenseman. P.K. Subban did not have the best of seasons last year but let’s hope Murray can be a bit more productive.
For The Blue Jackets, they got almost nothing for someone who they invested significant draft capital in. However, Murray is a free agent at the end of the year and carried a cap hit of 4.6 million so it was a salary dump move. Columbus is poised for a big first day of free agency tomorrow after multiple moves to clear salary-cap space.
So who is the winner?
Overall I think you can’t determine a winner right off the shoot. The Jackets did not get anything that even resembled a decent return however, they clearly have bigger plans in mind. For New Jersey, they get a much-needed defenseman who can change the course of a team’s defensive core. The only problem with him is that he is injury prone. In 27 games last year Murray put up nine points (2 goals and 7 assists) so he’s not much of an offensive threat but that’s not what The Devils were looking for or needed. Overall I think this was a good trade for both sides but the future will tell more.