San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the team has signed defenseman Douglas Murray to a four-year contract extension.
“Douglas has proven to be a critical defenseman for us and we’re happy that he’s shown this commitment to the team,” said Wilson. “He brings an ingredient of toughness in addition to the rest of his game that is a definite asset to this organization. He’s shown tremendous growth over the last few years and we look forward to that continuing.”
In 2007-08, Murray enjoyed a breakout season where he ranked second on the team and 24th in the League in plus/minus (+20), fourth on the team in blocked shots (83), third on the team in penalty minutes (98) and tied for first on the team in hits (127) to go along with his ten points (1-9=10). He added a goal and an assist in 13 playoff games as well.
“I’m thrilled,” said Murray. “I love playing here and San Jose is a great organization and a great place to live. Plus, the fans are unbelievable.”
As for the signing, Murray chose re-signing with the Sharks instead of exploring free agency next year.
“My desire was to stay here,” said Murray. “I never really thought about free agency. They made it clear they wanted me to stay and this is where I wanted to be. Both sides are happy.”
For a player who wasn’t even a lineup regular a few years ago, Murray’s on-ice growth was a big reason the Sharks looked re-sign the hulking blueliner.
“It makes you feel good,” said Murray. “It’s no secret this organization is great at drafting and developing players. They make you a better hockey player. Obviously I had to put in the work, but without the help I’ve gotten, I wouldn’t be the hockey player I am today.”
Murray was never overly worried about eventually becoming an NHL regular.
“I was always confident from playing a lot in the minors,” said Murray. “I played against guys who had played in the NHL or who were on their way to the NHL.”
Murray has no plans on letting up and will continue his commitment to getting better.
“A lot of guys with 10 years of experience find themselves back in the minors,” said Murray. “You’ve got to stay on top of your game. You’re only as good as your last game in this league.”
Murray played in 35 games in 2006-07, registering three assists and 31 penalty minutes.
In 2005-06, Murray played in 34 games with the Sharks, notching an assist and averaging almost 14 minutes of on-ice time. He finished third on the team and 10th among league rookies in hits, with 110.
The six-foot-three, 240-pound native of Bromma, Sweden was selected by San Jose in the eighth round (241st overall) of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.