Blue Jackets rookie defenseman Ryan Murray will likely miss the rest of the regular season, and the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs should the Jackets qualify, after having knee surgery yesterday.

The official word is that Murray will miss 4-6 weeks. There are five weeks remaining until the regular season ends April 12 in Florida.

"It’s so disappointing, for him and for us," Blue Jackets right wing R.J. Umberger said. "I know he wants to be a part of this. For us, he was just such a constant back there. You never had to worry about him. We definitely could have used him for the stretch run."

Murray was injured late in the first period during a 2-1 win in Toronto on Monday, and The Dispatch reported in the aftermath of the game that injury was significant, perhaps season-ending.

But the club remained mum on his status pending further tests. It’s also quite possible Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen didn’t want the rest of the league to know he was desperate for defensemen at the NHL trade deadline.

The Blue Jackets lost Fedor Tyutin to an ankle injury in the Olympics. Then Murray went down. On Thursday in Chicago, Nikita Nikitin suffered a head injury. He, too, will miss tonight's game in Nashville.

But Murray's lost has cast a pall over the club for the past 72 hours.

"You lose Tyutin and take Murray out of the lineup … that’s a lot of quality minutes," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "They were playing big minutes and tough minutes.

"Ryan's a young kid, so it’s something he’ll be able to get over. He still has a long career ahead of him. The impact right now … it’s a big impact. He was a real, real bright spot for us all year."

It's the second straight year in which Murray has suffered a significant injury. Early last season, while playing for his junior club in Everett, Wash., Murray suffered a separated shoulder and missed the rest of the season.

Murray, 20, has had a very strong rookie season, becoming exactly what the Blue Jackets envisioned when they drafted him No. 2 overall in 2012. In 61 games, Murray has three goals, 17 assists and a plus-3 rating.

"I'm sure there have been guys at that age who have come into the league with that much poise," Umberger said. "But me, personally, I haven’t seen it. He could handle anything on the ice, and the way he handle stuff off the ice ... the criticism, the coaching, being challenged by guys in here … he just handled it all.