Just when things were looking up for the Columbus Blue Jackets, they’ve hit a major snag.
Defenseman Ryan Murray, whom the Blue Jackets picked second overall in the 2012 NHL Draft, has a torn labrum in his shoulder and will need surgery, according to general manager Scott Howson on Tuesday.
“It’s not the kind of news you want to hear, and it’s going to be a long recovery time,” said Murray, who had anticipated the prognosis. “But this surgery pretty much has to be done.”
The injury occurred on November 16 during a game between the Everett Silvertips and Victoria Royals. After colliding with a Royals forward and trying to catch himself as he fell backwards, Murray left the ice and never returned. Howson later described him as being “in a lot of pain” and “very disappointed” when he talked to him later that weekend.
In an interesting plot twist, Murray was already scheduled to have an MRI on his shoulder due to a problem he’d been having since February. Doctors suspected his labrum was torn then but wanted to confirm it. The dislocation he suffered on the 16th happened four days before the scheduled test.
Due to the surgery, Murray will not be part of Team Canada in this year’s World Junior Championships in Russia, where the team will begin competing on the 26th. He’ll be missing what will be the last time he gets to represent his country after helping the team win bronze in the 2012 tournament. Many speculated that he would be paired with fellow defenseman Dougie Hamilton.
Murray had been having a great season as captain of the Silvertips, with two goals and 15 assists in 23 games, and he was a standout in the CHL’s Subway Series against Team Russia as captain of Team WHL. He was also the first draft-eligible player to participate in this year’s IIHF World Championships.
The surgery is being delayed to let any swelling around Murray’s shoulder to subside. During that time, he’ll choose where to have the procedure done. It will most likely be the Cleveland Clinic, where Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall had his shoulder surgery in the spring.
Recovery is expected to take six months, which means he’ll miss the rest of the season. Without hockey, Murray described his post-surgery downtime rather bluntly: “It’ll be really boring, and it’s going to suck for sure.”