This morning, news broke that Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray has accepted the team’s qualifying offer.
#CBJ announce that D Ryan Murray has accepted his qualifying offer. He’s under contract for 2018-19.— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) July 14, 2018
Only unsigned player now is Oliver Bjorkstrand.
Murray will make $2.825M this season. He’s an RFA next summer, too, with arbitration rights.— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) July 14, 2018
This seems like a fair deal for both sides. For the team, they keep a young defenseman (he turns 25 in September, can you believe it? Feels like he’s been here forever) and will hold his RFA rights next summer as well. He holds the same cap hit he has had for the last two seasons.
For Murray, it has to be disappointing to not get a raise or a long term deal. The good news is, if he has a bounceback season he has a chance to earn a better deal next summer. The former #2 has had good stretches of play, but too often those have been interrupted by injuries. The rise of other young defensemen in Seth Jones, Zach Werenski, and Markus Nutivaara mean that Murray is at best the fourth best player at his position on the depth chart.
With this deal done, the Blue Jackets can turn their attention to their final unsigned RFA, Oliver BJORKSTRAND.