The Silvertips were already resigned to losing captain Ryan Murray for the remainder of the season. Today the Columbus Blue Jackets made it official. Murray will undergo surgery to repair the torn labrum in his shoulder. The procedure will take place sometime in the next two-to-three weeks, and the recovery time was listed as six months. That will end both Murray’s Silvertips and WHL careers.
This is just rotten luck all around.
For Murray it not only means a long stretch on the sidelines. It means he won’t be playing for Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships, a team he likely would have captained. And if the NHL comes to its senses and solves the lockout, Murray won’t be making his NHL debut the way should have.
It’s tough luck for Everett, too. The Tips weren’t expecting to have Murray back at all this season, so any time they had with their star defenseman was a bonus. But now they’re deprived of their best player. Perhaps more importantly, they’re deprived a huge bargaining chip. The longer the lockout lingered, the greater the chances Murray would have remained in the WHL for the entire season. He could have brought a huge return in a trade, something the rebuilding Tips could really use. But now that unexpected windfall isn’t going to happen.
Since Murray’s not coming back, Everett’s roster drops to 22 players, which is very thin, so look for the Tips to bring someone in. With Landon Oslanski looking more and more valuable playing on the right wing, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a defenseman added. Perhaps 16-year-old Micheal Zipp?