Blackhawks D Murphy agrees to 4-year contract extension

Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy (5) plays against the Nashville Predators in the second period of an NHL hockey game Monday, April 19, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

CHICAGO (AP)The Chicago Blackhawks announced a four-year contract extension with defenseman Connor Murphy on Tuesday.

The deal runs through the 2025-26 season and carries a $4.4 million salary-cap hit.

The 28-year-old Murphy has turned into one of Chicago’s most reliable defensemen. He had three goals and 12 assists while averaging a career-high 22:09 of ice time over 50 games last season.

Murphy ”has transformed into a defenseman capable of matching up with the opponent’s best players and someone we trust to help us preserve a lead in the final minutes,” general manager Stan Bowman said in a release. ”Connor’s voice carries weight in our locker room as a veteran presence and we’re thrilled that his development and leadership will continue as a Blackhawk.”

The 6-foot-4 Murphy was selected by the Coyotes in the first round of the 2011 NHL entry draft. He was traded to the Blackhawks in June 2017 along with Laurent Dauphin for Niklas Hjalmarsson.

Murphy made his NHL debut in November 2013. He has 28 goals and 82 assists in 494 career games.

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