Avalanche adds defenseman Ryan Murray in free agency

The Avalanche on Monday agreed to a one-year contract with Ryan Murray, the first defenseman selected in the 2012 NHL draft (second overall). Murray, 27, will make $2 million, per a league source.

Murray, 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, played last season with the New Jersey Devils, after playing his first seven with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He was traded from Columbus to New Jersey for a fifth-round draft choice on Oct. 8, 2020. Murray had 14 points in 48 games for the Devils.

“Ryan is an effective two-way defenseman who can provide minutes and added puck movement to our back line,” Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said in a statement. “We like the experience he brings to our locker room, and we’re excited to see him fit in with our group.”

The Avs’ signed defensemen include Cale Makar ($9 million cap hit), Erik Johnson ($6.3 million), Sam Girard ($5 million), Devon Toews ($4.1 million), Bo Byram ($894,167), Kurtis MacDermid ($875,000) and Jacob MacDonald ($725,000). Sakic said the recently acquired MacDermid will also play forward.

The addition of Murray further puts Colorado up against the $81.5 million salary cap. Based on a 22-player roster (maximum is 23 players), the Avs only have approximately $2 million to spare.

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