The Chicago Blackhawks locked up a key piece of the team’s defense, signing veteran defenseman Connor Murphy to a four-year contract extension on Tuesday morning.
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) August 31, 2021
Murphy’s extension carries an average annual value of $4.4 million, a team-friendly increase from his current $3.85 million cap hit, and will run through the 2025–26 season. The 28-year-old blueliner was slated to be an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2022.
“When we acquired Connor in the summer of 2017, we had visions of him growing as both a player and leader in our organization for many years,” said General Manager Stan Bowman in a release. “He 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. 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.”
Murphy posted three goals and 12 assists in 50 contests last season, logging a career-high average of 22:09 of ice time per game.
The Boston native has served as one of the Blackhawks’ most steady defenders in recent memory. Though being heavily relied on over the last couple of seasons, Murphy will finally receive some help carrying the load moving forward thanks to the additions of Seth Jones and Jake McCabe.