LA Kings: Ryan Murray would be a risky acquisition as LHD

Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

According to The Athletic, Ryan Murray could be a trade candidate for the Blue Jackets this offseason. Could he be a fit for the LA Kings?

A report surfaced on Friday evening that the LA Kings were willing to use one of their three second-round picks in exchange for help on the left side of their defense. It basically confirmed what we already knew, as we’ve looked at various candidates that could be trade targets that would fit the draft capital return.

And according to The Athletic, the Columbus Blue Jackets could be looking to trade one of their defensive players in exchange for offensive help.

The article identifies blueliner Ryan Murray as a potential trade candidate, with the Kings being a landing spot for the former second overall pick. Murray, 27, has a history of back problems and only played in 27 games this past year, scoring 2 goals with 7 assists. He was shelved in December, but he was able to return just days before the pandemic prematurely ended the NHL’s regular season.

The hiatus allowed Murray to return for the Blue Jackets brief time in the bubble playoff format, tallying a goal in nine games.

In the 2018-2019 campaign, Murray put up 29 points in 56 games while averaging 21:26 on ice, yet still missed a significant portion of the year due to injury. Using even-strength metrics over the smaller sample size from this past season, he logged a 50.1 Corsi-for percentage and a 53.7 expected-goals-for percentage.

Murray has just one year left on the two-year, $9.2M contract extension he signed last offseason. He could be a potential fit for the Kings’ left-handed defenseman needs, but as the article suggests, a trade could be structured that Murray would have to play a certain number of games in order for the trade to be finalized.

Of course, that would mean the pick would have to be tied to the 2021 Draft.

Trending. Organization set on second overall pick. light

When healthy, the talent is there. Murray is no stranger to being a top-four pairing, and he could slot in well next to Drew Doughty. If the Blue Jackets are looking for offensive help, the Kings could dangle a second or third-round in the 2021 Draft and a guy like Adrian Kempe. Perhaps a lower draft pick could be packaged instead, especially given Murray’s injury history.