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Murray wants his game to do the talking

by Rob Mixer / Columbus Blue Jackets

You don't need to remind Ryan Murray -- he knows what's at stake.

This is his first NHL training camp and he just played his first competitive hockey games in nine months, but that's not deterring him trying to crack the Blue Jackets' opening night roster. Having to miss last year's World Junior tournament was punishment enough, and Murray isn't going to let a chance at the NHL go by without a fight. 

He's in the mix for one of the Blue Jackets' last two spots on the blueline, a competition that includes Cody Goloubef, David Savard, Ilari Melart and Tim Erixon. All five guys are able to be sent to the Springfield Falcons, and though Murray's dying for a taste of pro hockey however it comes, he's not shy in stating that his goal is to play in Columbus.

Rehabilitation was a long, arduous process after his shoulder surgery in January but it motivated him to have a strong summer in workouts and be in the best condition possible once camp began.

The shoulder got some early tests, too, when Murray absorbed some body checks in practice this week and during the scrimmage on Saturday at Nationwide Arena. So far, so good, Murray said, and that's a source of confidence as camp moves along.

"I think I've had a good summer and did a lot of good rehab on my shoulder and got into pretty good shape," Murray said. "I think I've prepared myself well for this camp. There are so many good defensemen here and so many good players, and whoever deserves it is going to earn their spot.

"I'm fully aware of that and I'm just going to work as hard as I can and do whatever I can to make a good impression."

Murray knows it won't be easy, especially looking at the Blue Jackets' depth chart and seeing several defenseman with NHL experience in addition to games in the AHL. But he's got big-game experience in his own right, having played with professionals for Team Canada at the 2012 IIHF World Championship and appearing in a World Junior prior to that.

His play will be the deciding factor, and he's trying to keep that in mind during camp.

"I've been out for so long, so playing any type of hockey is good for me," Murray said. "It's exciting and it's the next step...I've been at the junior level for four years and I'm really excited to take that jump.

"I try not to worry about how things are going to end up, I guess. I'm taking it one day at a time and one shift at a time out there. I'm not really expecting anything; I know the game that I play and I know what I can do, so I don't want to worry about what I can't control."

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