Friday, January 27, 2012
After a successful junior hockey career, which included winning a Memorial Cup with the Peterborough Petes and being drafted fourth overall in 1980, Larry Murphy began his career with the Los Angeles Kings in 1980-81 scoring 16 goals and set NHL records with 60 assists and 76 points for a rookie defenseman.
After posting 66 and 62 point seasons in Los Angeles, Murphy would be traded early in the 1983-84 season to the Washington Capitals where he would continue to put up strong numbers, the best of which was in 1986-87 when he set a career high with 23 goals plus 58 assists for 81 points.
Murphy was dealt to the Minnesota North Stars along with Mike Gartner in a blockbuster deal for Dino Ciccarelli and Bob Rouse in March of 1989 after six seasons with the Capitals. After finishing up the 1988-89 season with Minnesota, he would play one full season with the North Stars, scoring 68 points, and then a half a season in 1990-91 before once more being traded, this time to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The move to Pittsburgh would allow Murphy to experience a deep run into the playoffs for the first time in his career, never having made it past the second round during his ten previous seasons. As the Penguins progressed through the 1991 playoffs, they first defeated the New Jersey Devils in seven games, the Capitals in five and Boston Bruins in six, giving Murphy the chance to skate for the Stanley Cup against his former club, the North Stars. The Penguins dispatched Minnesota in six games, earning him the first Stanley Cup of his career as he contributed a point per game over the Penguins 23 playoff games.
In his first full season in Pittsburgh, Murphy scored 77 points in 77 games, thanks in part to the fourth 20 goal season of his career. He would add another 16 points in 21 playoff games as the Penguins would capture their second consecutive Stanley Cup.
The following season Murphy had his career best offensive season with 85 points and another 20 goal season with 22. After two more seasons with the Penguins, Murphy was dealt to the Toronto Maple Leafs for the 1995-96 season. His stay was not a long one however, as he was shipped to the Detroit Red Wings at the trading deadline during his second season with Toronto, but not before scoring his 250th career goal on this date in 1997, becoming only the 6th defenseman in league history to score 250 goals.
Murphy ended up playing more playoff games with Detroit than regular season games as the Red Wings charged through the playoffs that season and defeated the Philadelphia Flyers for the 1997 Stanley Cup, the third of Murphy's career.
Motivated by the injuries suffered by Vladimir Konstantinov while still celebrating their Stanley Cup victory in 1997, the Red Wings followed up that success with another championship in 1998, giving Murphy four Stanley Cup championships, and making Murphy the only player to win four Stanley Cups in the decade of the 1990's.
He would close out his career with three additional seasons with the Red Wings which included playing 57 games in his final season of 2000-01, one of which was the 1,600th game of his 21-year career, only the second player to reach that mark after Gordie Howe. His final total of 1,615 games was an NHL record for defensemen at the time and still currently ranks 8th in career games played despite having retired over 10 years ago.
Murphy would complete his career with 287 goals and 929 assists for 1,216 points, third all time for defensemen at the time of his retirement, behind only Ray Bourque and Paul Coffey and still in the top five after being passed by only Al MacInnis and Phil Housley. His 287 career goals rank sixth all-time for defensemen after Bourque, Coffeym MacInnis, Housley and Denis Potvin.
Internationally, Murphy played for Canada in the 1980 World Junior Tournament and the 1985, 1987 and 2000 World Championships, earning a silver medal in 1985.
Murphy scored a goal and two assists in the final game of the 1987 Canada Cup as Canada won the championship. He later won a second Canada Cup, this time in 1991.
Today's featured jersey is a 1996-97 Toronto Maple Leafs Larry Murphy jersey. The basis for this jersey dates back to 1934, when the Maple Leafs introduced a new sweater featuring twin stripes around the arms and waist, a much simpler style than it replaced. That style evolved, but remained in use through 1967, but was revived in 1991-92 when the Maple Leafs chose their 1940 sweaters as their Turn Back the Clock style for the NHL's 75th anniversary season.
It proved so popular that a modified version of it became the home and away jerseys the very next season, only using their modern maple leaf logo as the main crest, but using the retro style leaf as a secondary shoulder patch.
This style would remain unchanged through the 1996-97 season, but would be adorned with the Stanley Cup Centennial patch in 1992-93 and the Maple Leaf Gardens 65th Anniversary patch in 1996-97.
The jersey would remain the same for 1997-98, but it would be paired with a dreadful modern name and number font for three regrettable seasons.
Today's video is Murphy teaching you how to properly kill a penalty in a session of "Lessons with Larry".