SleepersJanuary 20, 2008

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Sleeper Watch

By Ben Chernoff

Cory Murphy could be the boost that your slumping defense so desperately needs. The 29-year-old defender from Kanata, Ottawa went undrafted in the NHL, mostly due to his undersized frame. For years Murphy was a dominant defender playing in the Finnish Elite League. In his final season, he won the “Kultainen kypärä” the Finnish Elite League’s version of the Hart Trophy.

This offseason, the Panthers signed him to a two year contract hoping that he could be a strong point presence on the power play. For the first nineteen games he collected one goal and ten assists (1G,10A), with a minus four rating (-4), with only six penalty minutes (6 PIM) . All but two of those points came on the powerplay (9 PPP).

Murphy was establishing himself as a premier powerplay specialist, until a mystery upper body injury grounded the defender’s debut. After being stalled two months due to the injury, Murphy is about to return after the All-Star Game.

Watch for the defender come back and look to make up for the lost time.

Ben Chernoff is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Ben in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of Canucks_Fantasy.
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