Douglas Murray Joins Flames On A Tryout

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No really, Douglas Murray is trying out with the Flames… 

Photo Credit: Eric Bolte/USA TODAY Sports

Around 9:30am MT this morning, the heavens opened up and the hockey world proclaimed with one confused exclamation.

“DOUGLAS MURRAY?!”

The Flames announced prior to their practice this morning that defenseman Douglas Murray has joined the team on a try-out basis. He joined the team today.

A San Jose Sharks 8th round pick in the 1999 NHL Draft, Murray’s 518 NHL regular season games under his belt (and 75 playoff appearances) with the Sharks, Penguins and Canadiens. He’s hardly a points generator, though, with just 64 points over his career in the NHL.

Murray failed to catch on with an NHL team this year, playing with the DEL’s Kolner Haie team instead.

Murray is a third-pairing guy. He’s big. He’s mean. He’s not a great skater. But he’s got a left-handed shot, he’s got playoff experience and he could be useful for a young locker room. But he’s basically an older, slightly worse (left-handed) Deryk Engelland at this point in his career. Maybe the thought process is they wanted a replacement for Ladislav Smid down the stretch, perhaps?

And I’m not certain that he’s eligible to play in the playoffs at all, so if that’s the case, what’s the point of bringing him in for the stretch drive?

  • “Murray is a third-pairing guy. He’s big. He’s mean. He’s not a great skater. But he’s got a left-handed shot, he’s got playoff experience and he could be useful for a young locker room. But he’s basically an older, slightly worse (left-handed) Deryk Engelland at this point in his career. Maybe the thought process is they wanted a replacement for Ladislav Smid down the stretch, perhaps?”

    Everything in this paragraph makes me mad

    • mattyc

      Hey Flames, I’m not a great skater, I shoot left, and I’m a really nice guy. (I’m also a slightly worse Deryk Engelland).

      I’ve talked to my boss, and can take a couple weeks off work to help with the stretch drive. I’m eagerly awaiting your call.

      Edit: I should add that I’m willing to take a home-town discount and will happily sign for league minimum.

  • Southern_Point

    Hartley is going to love the guy, and therefore therefore no one will have to worry about his playoff eligibility.

    All I ask is I get to witness an Engelland-Murray pairing, it will be so gritty.

  • piscera.infada

    Bob Hartley says he’s just an insurance policy (Per Steinberg).

    He’s not eligible for the playoffs anyway, so I would imagine he isn’t even signed unless there’s another horrible injury to a defenseman.

    Much ado about nothing.

  • Colin.S

    The only reason that the Flames would sign Murray is when Murray takes the ice it would make Engellands first pairing assignment look great in comparison.

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=30&f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f4=D&f5=MTL&c=0+1+3+5+4+6+7+8+13+14+29+30+32+33+34+45+46+63+67

    That’s his stats from last year on the Canadians, he had the lowest TOI on the Canadians and still managed to put up the worst possession stats on the team.

    Someone on Twitter suggested that this is an AHL flames move, but I don’t buy that, because you’d sign him to an AHL deal not an NHL tryout deal. As well, some folks on Twitter getting so salty: https://twitter.com/SUNRandySportak/status/576413468397436929

    Also, how bad is the Flames defensive depth that Douglas Murray looks like the better option. Also how bad does this look on Flames management that Murray seems like a GOOD option, seriously, they are suppose to be making their team better not worse.

  • Greg

    It’s insurance in case anyone else on the blue line goes down. It’s not a great option, but when it’s after the deadline and you have no other options, it’s probably the best hope of having any option should another D go down. Particularly if they don’t think Wotherspoon is ready or Smid is back anytime soon. Obviously not anything to get excited about, but seems like a pragmatic move by BT given the circumstances.

    The ghost of Brennan Evans still haunts this organization I guess.

  • Greg

    Also, anyone else still really disappointed they didn’t find a way to land Depres at the deadline? I can understand if Russell was a non-negotiable return, but he looks really good everytime I see him. If he could have been added to our top 4 if feel a lot better about our playoff hopes sans Gio.

    • Colin.S

      Give it up already! Sure Depres would look good on our D, as would Petry, Boychuk, and so many other defence men. BT tried but nothing could be worked out while maintaining our current core players and top drafts, which is our highest priority with the rebuild. Dreaming about having these guys with some miraculous trade that doesn’t gut other areas isn’t realistic.

      This signing is likely a pure depth, emergency replacement move to get to the playoffs. If, as it currently looks should we make the playoffs we’re up against the Stanley Cup champion LAK in the first round, extra size and meanness won’t hurt and it’s too bad he won’t be eligible for the playoffs. Both Anaheim and LAK and St Louis and Chicago are big and tough, especially in the playoffs and perhaps he can help and provide some pointers for the younger kids I.e. Ferland, Shore, Wolf and etc…

      • piscera.infada

        Depres would have been a good acquisition. However, I don’t think the Flames could have made the trade (as I said in an earlier post, on an earlier thread):

        Look at the deal relative to the player Pittsburgh got for him–Lovejoy. Brodie, Gio, and Russell are all better and two of them are younger. So, Wideman is better, although I would have looked at moving him for Despres maybe, but his contract is likely unpalatable for Pittsburgh. Engelland, Diaz, and Potter are significantly worse than Lovejoy, and Engelland has a far more onerous contract. Smid is injured.

        The trade wasn’t really there to be made. Also, after watching Depres the last couple of games (including that Flames game), I haven’t been particularly impressed with his play–he’s not exactly fleet of foot out there.

  • everton fc

    If he’s a better option than Potter, he’ll play. That’s the way I see it.

    Definitely doesn’t bode well for the d-men on the farm. Are all of them not “that ready”? Pretty sad, if this is the case, as the org has allowed young guys to come up and steal jerseys on the big club all season long.

  • Greg

    Does anyone know if he played games in the DEL post 2014? Wouldn’t that mean the same thing applies as the ROR fiasco where he’d have to go through waivers if actually signed?

    If so, maybe just a warm body for practise and nothing else.

  • Parallex

    Here’s the only way it makes even the slightest amount of sense…

    A: They just want someone to take part in practice so that they can give an extra person a maintainance day, and

    B: They want him on hand just in case they have an injury so they don’t have to burn a recall this early.

    The only other explanation is that Murray got his hands on naked pics of someone in the front office.

    • Colin.S

      B is the only thing I’ve seen anywhere that makes a lick of sense regarding this move. But even then if they incur enough injuries to need that many recalls there is an provision for emergency recalls I believe. Then again when you get past wotherspoon, cundari and the fact that Culkin is injured, I don’t know if there is someone you want to call up instead of playing Murray.

  • Colin.S

    We lost Giordano, Smid, and Culkin. He is insurance for us down the stretch. Either for the Flames, or for Adirondack if we look one of their guys.

    So many knotted panties. People must just like to wear them that way.

    • everton fc

      I actually hope he proves he’s got some mileage in the tank and can help us if need be, due to injury.

      I feel the same way about Potter. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t impact the roster, and certainly makes sense if we don’t want to burn a recall. Do we have the availability on the current roster for Murray??

      Also… Can someone please tell the fans what exactly is wrong with Smid?? And whatever happened to Setoguchi – simply disappeared off the face of the earth!

      • Colin.S

        Smid has a neck issue that is related to a vertebrae fusion surgery he apparently had a few years ago. Out for year, probable for next year, people are saying he should be ready for next year, but head/neck injuries are scary as hell.

        Setoguchi has been injured in Adirondack so he’s only played 12 games(5 points).

      • piscera.infada

        As I understand it, from now through the playoffs there isn’t a roster max. However, there is a cap on the number of players recalls from the AHL you can make (this all being post-deadline). If this is, in fact, the case, you’re right.

  • Colin.S

    Geez…If Feaster was still here we would be announcing a try-out for “the best defence-man not playing in the NHL” from Europe (who later turns out to be a mascot named D.Fenceman)

  • Christian Roatis

    This “just for practice” stuff makes little sense to me. Why would a guy that lives nowhere near Calgary fly in for a try out to just practice. This is a legit tryout for a contract deal, imo. They probably want to relieve the workload on Russell/Wideman, but doing it with Douglas Murray is confusing..