OK, here’s the first part of today’s interview with Terry Murray, who was gracious with his time and sat down with me for well over an hour. I tried to incorporate as many reader questions/topics as possible, but understand that the questions that were very player-specific will be better answered after the first week of training camp or so.
We’ll start off general here, with Murray talking about what his first month as Kings coach has been like…
Question: Can you talk a little bit about what the last month has been like for you?
MURRAY: The time has been very busy. Right from the first contact with Dean, and setting up an interview and flying out to do the interview, to two or three times traveling back and forth, it’s a process. It’s getting organized and situated, getting into a situation where you’ve got a real good feel for what’s going on and what the direction is that we want to head into as an organization. As you know, Dean, he’s very thorough and there’s a lot of meetings going on and it’s great. There’s great communication, so there’s no gray area between what’s happening down here in the coach’s office and the direction of the team. Along with that, we’re looking for a place to live. That’s taking up time also, but it’s fun. I’m really excited about what’s going on and this opportunity and I’m looking forward to getting started in training camp and getting to see and meet the players.
Question: I’m not sure what the exact timing has been on all of this. Have you had a chance to see any of the prospects play in person?
MURRAY: Yeah, the prospects camp that just happened last week, I was here. There were some forwards and four defensemen and it was nice to be able to sit upstairs and watch these young guys and see what they do on the ice. I love what they’re doing, as far as the development process in concerned. When these guys get into training camp, it’s going to give them a little bit of a leg up as far as what’s going on. It’s always hard for them, coming in as a young player and trying to feel comfortable and impressing the coaches and showing that they belong or where they belong. I think this gives them a nice little advantage. They know, through practice and through communication, where we’re headed. It was a great opportunity for me to meet them and also be a part of the process here, as far as sharing information about what my philosophy is and what my system is and what I’m looking to do here, especially in the early part of training camp. That part of it should make them feel a lot more comfortable coming in as young players. There are positions open, as you know, and we want these young guys to come in and be successful and play the best they can from the first day.
Question: Here in July and August, you have players living all over the world. Has it been easy to reach out to them and get to know them, or will that happen more next month?
MURRAY: That’s going to start happening real soon. There are a few players here. (Dustin Brown) is here, Calder has been around, Frolov has been around, so I’ve been able to talk to and meet those players. Other players I need to contact by phone, and that’s going to happen from now until the start of training camp. Also, there are going to be more players coming in as we get closer to the start of training camp too. We have very few married players who have kids that are old enough to get started in school, but they will be coming in over the next week. It will be a great opportunity for all of us, with the new coaches — me, and Mark (Hardy) coming back — to get to know these guys and start to share the information, as to what we expect and where we’re headed in training camp.