With #Flame vets Douglas Murray is back on PTO. All skating this am except Paul Byron . FYI Dougie Hamilton skating with Ladislav Smid— Roger Millions (@RogMillions) September 14, 2015
It looks like the Calgary Flames added another PTO invitee to training camp: Douglas Murray. You may remember last season Murray was invited on a tryout when defenseman Ladislav Smid was injured for the remainder of the season. You may also remember him not faring well and his tryout expiring.
There is little likelihood he could make the team, especially with the depth already on the blueline. Incumbents include Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie, Dougie Hamilton, Kris Russell, and Dennis Wideman, making up five of the six spots easily. Beyond that lies pushing Smid, Deryk Engelland, and/or Jakub Nakladal from the depth chart, which won't happen either.
For Murray, his career over the last few years has been less than impressive, which definitely explains why finding a contract last year was hard for him. Added to all of this confusion are Murray's remarks last year about PTOs:
Douglas Murray quote on PTO's last year pic.twitter.com/3CAlxW3Wl5— Core Depth Player (@CLIB542) September 14, 2015
On analyzing Murray and the type of impact he brings, it's definitely nothing to write home about:
This all could be a good-will gesture for the Flames organization to Murray and his agent for last season's tryout. It could, for some bizarre reason, be a pursuit of adding depth at the AHL level, too. Yet the latter has very little semblance of logic either. Even with Ryan Culkin's injury, with a recovery time of six to eight weeks, Murray would not cut it for AHL standards.
Regardless of what it is or isn't, there are still plenty of skilled and capable veterans looking for contracts or PTOs. Names like Sean Bergenheim, Jiri Tlusty, and former Flame Lee Stempniak all remain unsigned or without invites. Given the landscape of the NHL now, finding capable depth options to augment your core players is such a valuable asset.