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Murphy Eyeing Carolina's Blue Line

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Full Article: http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=678315&navid=nhl:topheads

With his junior career behind him, Murphy is aiming for a longer stay in Raleigh as he takes part in the Hurricanes' development camp this week -- though he knows that if he makes the parent club, he won't be seeing the same kind of minutes as he did in February.


"It's not putting too much pressure on me to play big minutes. It's easing me into it," he told the Hurricanes' website. "I think if I'm a [seventh or eighth defenseman], I'd obviously want to move up in the lineup. I'd do my best to prove myself and get more minutes."


"I'm just coming out of junior now, so there are a lot of aspects of my game that I want to improve," he said. "Mainly, I want to get bigger and stronger in the defensive zone. Positionally, I need to focus on the little things on the ice."


"I'm going to play my game, work hard and do everything I can to make the big club," Murphy said. "Patience is key. I've been patient to make the squad, and hopefully next year is my year."

Unfortunately for Murphy, Carolina's blue line has gotten better this offseason. They cut dead weight in Joe Corvo, Jamie McBain, and an elderly Marc-Andre Bergeron while replacing them with puck moving defenseman Andrej Sekera, hard-hitting Mike Komisarek and veteran's Mark Flood and Matthew Corrente.
The Canes top six is most likely set (barring a trade) with Pitkanen and Faulk as a unit,  Sekera and Gleason as a tandem, and Komisarek and Harrison rounding out the bottom pair.
One thing hindering Murphy from making the final roster is his lack of experience. This will be Murphy's first year as a full-time professional hockey player while guys like Brett Bellemore (3 year veteran), Mark Flood (7 year veteran), and Matthew Corrente (4 year veteran) have been in the league for much longer.
Another hindrance is his overall size. Murphy only clocks in at 5'11/176lbs. where guys like Corrente (6'0/205lbs.), Flood (6'1/190lbs.), and Bellemore (6'4/210lbs.) are much more strong and overall bigger.
It might be in Carolina's best interest to stash Murphy in Charlotte with two savvy veterans in Corrente and Flood. In Charlote, Murphy will gain valuable experience and it will also allow him to gain some weight and fill out his core, while the more NHL ready Bellemore fills in as Carolina's seventh defenseman.

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