Murray, on why he’s here

In this part of the interview, Terry Murray talks about why he chose to pursue the Kings coaching job, one that Dean Lombardi has called the toughest in the league. Murray also talks about what his new players should expect from him when training camp begins next month…

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Question: Unless I’m mistaken, Michal Handzus is the only player who has played for you before. For the rest, what’s the most important thing for them to know about you as a coach?

MURRAY: From a player’s point of view, the most important thing is that we’re going to try to change the culture of what’s been going on. I think that’s very important for a new coach. They need to know that I’m going to hold players accountable. There needs to be a tremendous work ethic. I really believe, in this game today, that not only working hard but working smart, is a big part of the development process. I am a fair person to deal with, when it comes to the development process. I know there are a lot of young players in the organization and there are going to be some times and situations when they’re going to have a tough time, but we’re going to work through it. So the communication factor is going to be very big. We’re going to have the open-door policy, as you see here today by sitting here. Players are going to have to knock on the door sometimes and come and talk to us, as well as us having meetings with them.

The experience that I bring to the game, I think, is the other part of the equation here that the players not only need to know, but do know. I’ve been through a lot of this before, on the development side of it, on a team that has been through difficult times and made steps going into the next year. There’s a way of doing it and I have the experience of doing it. There needs to be a great trust developed between the coaching staff, and me in particular, and the players, so that we can make progress as quickly as possible.

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Question: When Dean put his list of potential coaches together, he talked about needing someone who would be passionate about taking up this challenge. What was it about this job that made you want it?

MURRAY: My passion for the game, I don’t think, has ever changed. I’ve been on the coaching side of things for a lot of years and if you’re going to survive in this game, whether you’re a player who has played for a long time, or you’re going to coach for a long time, you have to have great passion and love for the game. Coming to the L.A. Kings, my passion is the same as it was with Philadelphia, Florida or Washington and through my playing days. It’s there. I loved to play and I love the coaching side of it. It’s just a natural, instinctive part of me, my love for the game.

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Question: As for this job specifically, there’s a lot of young talent here but there’s been a lot of losing. What was it about this team, this challenge, that made it something worth going after?

MURRAY: As I went through the interview process with Dean and (Ron Hextall), people who I know, and Jack Ferreira, who I’ve known for a long time, the knowledge they have and the direction they want to go with this hockey team was laid out very clearly to me. There was no gray area. Here’s what it is, and everybody signed off on it. I went downtown and I met with people downtown and it was the same process, as far as agreeing on the process we need to go through and the steps we need to make, as management and as an ownership group, to get this underway and be successful at it. I really liked that kind of direction and that kind of process that they’re talking about, because we did go through it in Philadelphia and we did go through it in Florida. That was a team that was out of the playoffs. Washington, when I got into the coaching side of things, that team hadn’t made the playoffs in eight years. I was only coming in as an assistant coach, after retiring as a player, but I was there and participated and saw and was a part of that turnaround.

So the experience I have, I think it makes it very comfortable for me to know that I can come into a similar-like situation. Sure, the playing field has changed because of the time and place of the league, the lockout we went through and the salary cap that’s in place now. Everything is different from that side of it, but still we’re talking about developing hockey players and teaching young guys who to play the game the right way and how to become a team. That’s what we have right now. We have a group of young players, we have some veterans who have been around and been with the team for a couple years and we have a lot of players here who we need to mold and make into a hockey club. That’s the challenge and that’s the part of the job that is very intriguing to me.

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  • Yog S’loth

    Man alive. A great example on how to talk a lot and say nothing. Seriously – what a bunch of hot air and generic sports clichs.

  • JDM

    Nothing shocking, but I like his self confidence.

    It is hard to tell whether he is just spouting Dean’s words, but I think he is here because personally he believes it as well.

    Even though anthony will say he’s just Dean’s puppet boy, I think its good to have a group of people operating positively on the same wavelength.

    Good things can come of that.

  • cristobal

    Is Jack Ferreira a member of the Kings?

  • mrbrett7

    Yes, he is. The man who basically built the Ducks is a member of the Kings Management Cristobal.

  • Harry

    Jack Ferreira. Company: Los Angeles Kings Hockey Club L.P. Jack Ferreira. Title: Director of Amateur Scouting and Player Development …

  • Anze

    Good job tracking down Murray, Rich. However, I didn’t like what he had to say, at all. He seems to have more of a tepid interest than any sort of observable enthusiasm. I’m not convinced this coach is going to, all of a sudden, implement the winning attitude this team desperately needs. Then again, it was just one interview. Anyone count how many times he said “process?”

  • yesitscal

    You know, coaches, managers, players, they all say “the right thing”. Glad to be here, looking forward to working with the guys, I’m excited about the future, so that’s really no surprise to me. Let’s give him a chance and see how he brings the club together once training camp begins. No need for anyone to be jumping off a cliff right now…

  • mrbrett7

    Anze…what are you expecting? Murray to take this team and win the Stanley Cup next year? Seriously…if he comes in and get this team to be competative next season, the kids grow as a team, and there is marked improvement in the defensive zone, that is a HUGE improvement.

  • cristobal

    mrbrett7 – i was unaware and happy to hear that. He did some good things in Anaheim. Thanks for responding.

    Harry – One thing stood out in your post – Los Angeles Kings Hockey Club – As a fan of european football, i think drop the Kings name and this is it. Its all we need.

  • 5thLine

    It is starting to sound like “changing the culture” and Blakes departure are related.

    Blake was very much a part of the old culture. Maybe DL knew that Blake would bolt and just let waited until he did what he knew he would do….go for the cash.

    I love the new mindset and commitment. I just wish this would have started sooner.

  • KingFan4ever

    Murray said everything except for the most important reason….. “I am here because I want to win”.

  • Rob

    OK Crystal ball, How many times do you need to tell us that you are a fan of european football….NO ONE CARES

  • yesitscal

    5thLine, unfortunately the Kings have been trying to change the culture for 40 years now. Maybe this time, with the definite commitment to the kids, they’ll finally get it right.

  • http://theguestlistclub.co.uk/chinawhite alto london

    Great post!