It’s been a productive off-season so far for general manager John Chayka and the Arizona Coyotes. The team announced that they’ve signed young defensemen Connor Murphy to a six-year contract worth $23.1 million.
Connor Murphy’s six-year deal with #Coyotes is for $23.1 million ($3.85 AAV). Also includes a little lockout protection with dip in salary.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) July 28, 2016
Connor Murphy Signs Six Year Deal
Murphy is coming off his second full season in the NHL. He finished this season with career highs in goals, assists and points. He tallied 6 goals and 11 assists for 17 points and was also second on the team with 175 hits and 139 blocked shots.
This past season, Murphy earned himself a spot on the top defensive pairing midway through the season with veteran Oliver Ekman-Larsson. The 23=year-old defenseman adapted well to a heavier workload that included an average ice time of 20:30, the highest he’s played in three seasons.
“We are extremely pleased to sign Connor to a long-term contract,” said Chayka. “At only 23, Connor has established himself as a very good NHL defenseman. He’s a great skater, a fierce competitor and he has an excellent work ethic. We look forward to him taking the next step and having him on our blue line for many years to come.”
The young defenseman was taken by the Coyotes in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He has played in 181 total NHL games, tallying 11 goals and 32 points overall.
Michael Stone Signs One Year Deal
Along with the signing of Murphy, the Coyotes also struck a deal with defenseman Michael Stone. The team was set to head to arbitration next week, but were able to get a deal done beforehand.
In addition to Connor Murphy — ARIZ and Michael Stone have a one-year, $4M deal.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 28, 2016
Stone is coming off his best season in the NHL, putting up 6 goals and 36 assists. He was second in scoring for Coyotes defensemen, behind Ekman-Larsson. Stone is coming off of surgery on his ACL and MCL, which took place in April. The recovery is expected to be six months, which could signal a return close to the beginning of the season.
“I know he’s running well and moving pretty well,” Chayka said last week. “ … He’s a big part of our blue line, so we’re hoping to get him back as soon as we can.”
The defensemen was taken by the Coyotes in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He has played in 279 NHL games, tallying 23 goals and 87 points overall.
Along with these two signing, general manager John Chayka has also been able to acquire Alex Goligoski, re-sign Shane Doan, sign Jamie McGinn and Luke Schenn. The general manager was also able to improve his position in the 2016 Draft when he acquired the contract of Pavel Datsyuk. Only being named general manager back in April, Chayka has already shown that he knows how to build a team.