The Chicago Blackhawks signed Connor Murphy to a four-year contract extension the team announced on Tuesday. This is big news for the team as Murphy definitely signed a team-friendly deal with this extension.
The Connor Murphy extension will give him 4.4 million a season with the Blackhawks for the next four years starting in 2022-23.
Murphy led the Blackhawks last season in a lot of ways. He averaged 22:09 minutes of ice time a night, he was a great competitor every night that got under other teams’ skins while also being the best defenseman the team had. This season will be different for Murphy as he really is not alone anymore.
The team now has guys like Seth Jones and Jake McCabe to help take the load off of Murphy. This season will be fun to watch to see how that defensive core blends together. Murphy, McCabe, and Jones are all signed for the foreseeable future so they will have a lot of time playing together.
When it comes to Murphy one thing is for sure, next season is going to be even better for him. He had to play a lot last year as the team’s best defenseman, but now with a better blue line around him, he can thrive in a role that is better for him as a number three or number four guy.
When the Blackhawks trade Niklas Hjalmarsson to the Arizona Coyotes for Connor Murphy it was not my favorite trade. I think a lot of fans like myself were upset to see a fan favorite like Hjalmarsson leave the team, but now some four years later I have to say this move was one of Stan Bowman’s best decisions.
Murphy has spent four seasons in Chicago and each season has been better than the last. He is not going to lead the team in points or really be that much of a threat in the offensive zone, but his physicality and defensive play will make the Hawks harder to play against each and every night.
With this contract in the books, the Blackhawks still have about 23 million in cap space to work with for the 2022-23 season. How they decide to delegate their money to their players will be interesting, but hopefully, we will see a few more extensions before the season begins to get players locked in for the foreseeable future.
Guys like Kubalik, Dach, Strome, Fleury, Lankinen, Kalynuk, and de Haan are all without contracts. Do we see any other players get signed before October 13th?