It has been a lengthy and at-times frustrating rehabilitation process for Ryan Murray, but the finish line is finally nearing.
Originally scheduled be to ready for "game action" sometime in early-to-mid July, Murray's injured shoulder is getting back to normal. Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson told BlueJackets.com this morning that Murray's shoulder is "back to 100 percent" and he's doing very well in offseason workouts, and should be completely ready for training camp in September.
Murray is also scheduled to be in attendance at the Blue Jackets' annual development camp, which will take place in mid-July at the OhioHealth Ice Haus attached to Nationwide Arena.
"He's doing very well," Davidson said. "By the time September comes around, he's going to be a well-conditioned young man."
Murray has spent the first part of his offseason back home in Saskatchewan, but his workouts will shift to Columbus for the balance of the summer after development camp. The Blue Jackets' first pick (second overall) at the 2012 NHL Draft in Pittsburgh, Murray suffered a season-ending shoulder surgery in November during a game against the Victoria Royals when he was captain of the WHL's Everett Silvertips.
He underwent successful shoulder surgery on Jan. 10 and, at the time, was projected to have a recovery period of approximately six months.
And while Davidson and the Blue Jackets management staff are excited about Murray's potential and what he could bring to the club this season, they know that he's still a young and unproven player - albeit a very talented one.
"It's like (adding) a free agent with no experience and we have to respect that," Davidson said. "It's a tough position, a very tough position and things aren't easy in this league. This league gets better every year; it's better than it was two years ago, three years ago, five years ago...and that's because of the players.
"For a young defenseman to come in, we expect good things, we want good things. But it's never easy."