It was, of course, a star-crossed season for Murray. First there was the lockout, which sent him back to Everett. Then there was the torn labrum in his shoulder, which happened just before the end of the lockout was announced, thus wiping out what was likely going to be his rookie NHL season.
But after undergoing surgery in January, the former Everett defenseman and captain has been rehabilitating his shoulder, and he apparently is ready for full hockey activities. First up will be Columbus' development camp in July (incidentally, Murray originally was one of the first players to commit to Everett's alumni weekend, but had to back out because of conflict with the development camp). Then comes training camp in September, when the second-overall pick in the 2012 NHL draft is expected to be a strong challenger for a roster spot with the Blue Jackets.
Here's to hoping Murray makes the team. It's about time Everett had more alumni playing in the NHL. The only former Tip to establish himself as an NHL regular has been forward Peter Mueller (who surprisingly has committed to alumni weekend), who played with the Florida Panthers this season. But since Mueller came up with the Phoenix Coyotes in 2007, it's been a dry spell for the Tips, with several NHL call-ups, but no one sticking.
But hopefully that's changing. Defenseman Radko Gudas received the call from the Tampa Bay Lightning midseason, stuck with the big club the rest of the way, and is no considered a regular going forward. Murray is a good bet to stick with Columbus. And if goaltender Leland Irving can ever free himself the Calgary Flames organization, maybe he can find a home in the NHL, too.
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