I thought it might be interesting to ask Terry Murray what attributes he considered most important in his players. You probably won’t consider his answer to be anything surprising or groundbreaking, but it does give some insight into what type of player might thrive in the new Murray system…
Question: Do you have, in your mind, what the ideal Terry Murray player looks like? Certain attributes?
MURRAY: Yes, I do. To be a player in the NHL, to be a successful player, you need to have a real passion for the game. You have to love what you do. You have to come to the rink every day with the attitude that you’re going to learn something to get better, you’re going to improve yourself today. So that encompasses a lot of stuff. You’re covering the work ethic, you’re covering the passion for the game and the intelligence. You have to be a smart player, no matter what line or what defense pairing you’re going to be on, there has to be that kind of work ethic and work-smart attitude. If you have those two things, with the right attitude, that covers what a coach wants. You’ve got to have grit, you’ve got to play hard, you’ve got to arrive at the net… As Freddy Shero used to say all the time, you have to arrive at the net with an ill attitude. That’s just the battle you have to have in order to be a successful team and a successful player.
There is no easy way, there really isn’t, in anything that you’re going to do as a player that I like. It’s about playing with tempo, with intelligence and playing with grit and playing for your teammates. There probably isn’t anything more important than being able to sit down with your teammates in that locker room every day, getting ready for a game and saying, `I’m going to give everything I can for you tonight,’ or after the game, saying, `Yeah, I did it for you. I looked myself in the eye and looked my teammate in the eye and said, I gave it for you.’