In a move that surprised the Carolina Hurricanes’ front office, goaltender Mike Murphy will play in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) next season.
The 23-year-old made the announcement on his Twitter feed today, and it was confirmed by Hurricanes’ executives.
“We thought he was developing well, so it’s surprising and disappointing that he decided to do that,” said Ron Francis, director of hockey operations.
"@MichaelMurphy31: KHL/Russia bound next season! I'd like to thank the Hurricanes/Checkers organization & fans for an amazing 3yrs! Memories i'll have forever!"
Murphy, who has spent the last three seasons with the Canes’ AHL affiliate, made his National Hockey League debut with Carolina in December. He appeared in two games, playing 36 minutes and stopping all nine shots he faced, despite finishing with an 0-1 record.
Over three seasons in the AHL, the Kington, Ontario compiled a 49-35-5 record. This past season, he recorded a 2.74 goals against average and a .908 save percentage. Murphy was a fourth-round draft pick of Carolina in 2008.
Murphy’s move could open the door for Danish prospect Frederik Andersen or John Muse, who spent time with Charlotte last season but is not under contract with the Hurricanes organization. Justin Peters is a group six unrestricted free agent.
Murphy was a restricted free agent heading into next season. The Hurricanes retain his rights for the balance of time that he is overseas.
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