Murray, on his evolution

OK, here’s the final part of the Terry Murray interview. In this last part, Murray talks about his evolution as a coach and how he might have changed over the years.

Hope everyone found the interview worthwhile… I’m sure there will be another long-form interview with Dean Lombardi before the start of training camp, and once players start arriving there will be some Q&As with them as well.

Here’s the last part of the Murray interview…


Question: Finally, I wanted to know about your evolution as a coach. As you look back, how do you think you have changed, and how is this version of you going to be different from a few years ago?

MURRAY: Well, I’m much more relaxed than when I first came into it. When you get into coaching… Fortunately, I came into it as an assistant coach in the NHL. I went from playing, right into an assistant coach’s role for six years. Then I went to the American Hockey League, for a year and a half, to run my own team. That was a great process, but even with that experience, coming in to be a head coach in the NHL, that’s an eye-opener. It’s different. You think you’ve learned a lot and you think you know a lot and that you’re going to get this thing going right away and turn it right around… Well, there’s a lot of great coaches in the game and you go through a learning curve. But experience helps you relax, and I’ve changed a great deal, even from my head-coaching days to being an assistant coach under Hitch (Ken Hitchcock) and the last couple years in Philly with John Stevens. It’s something that I welcomed, to be able to back away like that. Then you get the itch again. You’re always a head coach and you want to get back into it.

From a process of how the game has changed, and it has… When I started, we had players who were on two-way deals. You could send players down, basically if they had three or four off games, `OK, we need to switch him out.’ You could do those things. You had 25 or 26 players on the roster. You could put guys in the press box and pull a guy out. Well, those days are gone. The process, with the teams we have today, there’s a lot of youth coming in and we’re seeing more of that. We’re talking about that with our own hockey club right now. So the coaching and the teaching is paramount. That’s probably how I’ve changed, more than in any other way. You see how important it is to bring those young players along, from an organization’s point of view, to teach, to have development camps and to do the right thing with your AHL team and to do the right thing here with your young players and the teaching process. The commitment that it takes, from that side of it, has changed dramatically. I understand that, and I really have a good handle on how teams around this game, in the last five years — since the lockout in particular — how the mindset of organizations has changed. I think I have changed along with them, and it’s a great change that has happened in our game.

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  • JDM

    Rich, thank you thank you thank you again for the interview. I look forward to Dean’s and especially the players!

    Definately enjoyed this interview, a fair mixture of lip service and truly telling, specific remarks. I think you asked the perfect combo of questions Rich, and did an awesome job of really hitting on every issue we brought up in our questions the other day. I can’t say enough how great it is that you bring our concerns directly and specifically to men in charge of the show.

    Back to Murray, I think in that last paragraph he kind of addressed the issue someone brought up about playing style in a way. Someone was concerned that by bringing in his own style he would cause some sort of schism between the Kings and Manchester. Well here he specifically outlines the importance of Manchester and bringing them along probably FOR the big club. I guess he doesn’t see it so much as adjusting his style for the Kings, but adjusting strictly because the game as a whole has changed.

    That’s an interesting point too about having had 25-26 players on the roster in the past and the easier send downs and call-ups. I haven’t heard anyone answer that question about the ‘new NHL’ that way or with that being a main concern. ‘Change’ is the new ‘process.’

    I’m really looking forward to seeing what this guy can do. He sounds decent in print, and vocally we finally don’t have a coach who sounds like he has a wad of cigar ash stuck in his throat at all times!

  • anthony

    I’m still dying to find out why DL (not Dumbo) hired Marc Crawford instead of Murray.
    I’m not not trying to bash DL. I’m just curious.
    Because it kinda of looks like we’re at square one again and the first two years under DL was for not (got NOTHING acomplished).

  • JDM

    anthony, I agree I wish Crawford was never hired. However, I can see why he was an easy sell to AEG, so I wonder how much they influenced that division. When DL came in, AEG wanted playoffs now, and Crawford coached a team that AEG wanted, always making the playoffs, without much of a care of chance to really win… you know, like the glory days of 99-02.

    At that point, even if he wanted to hire Murray (who knows), he probably couldn’t have sold AEG on the idea, since Murray is the ‘teacher’ sell, not the ‘you’ll make the playoffs for sure’ sell like Crawford seemed to be. That’s my take, or assumption rather, on the subject.

    Regardless, he’s gone. Let him drone on and scream that the audience through tv sets in Canada.

  • wavesinair

    “I can’t say enough how great it is that you bring our concerns directly and specifically to men in charge of the show.”

    Here here. Yes Rich, this is such a cool aspect of this blog and what you are doing. To me, it’s really cutting edge reporting.

    “He sounds decent in print, and vocally we finally don’t have a coach who sounds like he has a wad of cigar ash stuck in his throat at all times!”

    Took the words right out of my keyboard. I’d even say he sounds better than decent. He clearly speaks well and it’s a huge improvement over our last two coaches. As a fan, it’s very refreshing to hear. Whether it all translates on the ice is another matter…

    Here he is not in print…

  • JonG

    Thanks for the great work, Rich.

  • do

    no cloutier… no crow.. no Doughty.. no Teubert.. no Hickey

  • Anonymous

    Because DL wasn’t up to date on the monthly service fee for his crystal ball.

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