Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/13/13
The Canucks have been kicking the tires on huge free agent defenceman Douglas Murray his agent confirmed on Tuesday morning. “We’ve talked to them off and on all summer” said player agent Anton Thun. “At this point we’re not close to signing. There are a group of clubs that have interest so it comes down to the right circumstances and the right dollars. At this point in time there’s a gridlock in terms of cap space and money availability with a number of clubs. Until some of that shakes out and the dominoes start to fall I think the market is going to be tight. Whenever that starts to shake out we’ll react accordingly as to what might be the right place.” The Canucks have just six defencemen signed to NHL contracts next season – two under the usual number – and two of those are fringer Yannick Weber and rookie Frank Corrado. Even if they get a deal done for restricted free agent Chris Tanev that leaves the blueline numbers one short. Canucks assistant GM Laurence Gilman has acknowledged the team is looking to add a D-man with NHL experience. Gilman said Murray is just one in a group of defencemen the team is considering. “We are looking to add another NHL calibre defenceman to our group and have had discussions with numerous agents regarding various players currently available in the market” Gilman said in a text message. Murray 33 is nothing if not imposing. He’s listed at 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds but that seems light to anyone who’s stood next to the native of Bromma Sweden. His strengths are positional play penalty kill shot-blocking making it unpleasant for opposing players to hang out near his goaltender’s crease and standing up for teammates when necessary. In his eight seasons in San Jose Murray spent time playing on the top defence pair with Dan Boyle but the last two seasons was a third-pairing player as his foot-speed became more of a factor. The Sharks moved him at last season’s trade deadline to Pittsburgh in a move to get faster and younger. Murray who just finished a four-year deal that paid him $2.5 million per wasn’t re-signed by the Penguins.
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