Free Agent to Target #1: Ryan Murray – Left Defenseman
Those who follow along with the Detroit Red Wings will know that the team has been looking to add a left-handed shooting defenseman. Max Bultman of The Athletic($) decided to propose seven left-handed shooting defensemen the team should consider; Ryan Murray was an honorable mention.
If the Red Wings are going to target a left-handed shot, bringing in someone like Murray might not be a half-bad choice. I like the idea of Murray joining the defensive core and bringing some positive change to the defense aspect of this backend.
While Murray does find ways to add some points here and there, he is a defender who is sound in the defensive zone and does a good job. Excelling in this area makes him a player that the Red Wings should be eyeing this summer.
In 2020-21, Murray played for the New Jersey Devils after being traded for a fifth-round draft pick in 2021. Murray logged 48 games for the Devils, where he did not score a goal but added 14 assists. Some serious Filip Hronek vibes, but Murray is a great defender, whereas Hronek is known to be an offensive guy.
Murray took home $4.6 million on his contract last season, and his most recent contract signing was a two-year deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets, where he made $9.2 million overall. If the Red Wings want to add in Murray, they are likely going to need to be in the $4-5 million range.
This may be considered “overpaying” for a defender like this, but the Red Wings have the cap space. Cap room is not an issue, and Murray would be able to work with some of the youngsters who will be working into the NHL and show them the ropes.
Not to mention, Murray will help in the defensive zone, something the Red Wings could greatly add. Also, as mentioned at the beginning of the slide, he is left-handed, which should be viewed as a plus for the Red Wings.
When free agency rolls around, the Red Wings should be reaching out to Murray and seeing if he is receptive to a deal to play in Hockeytown.