Murray, on his ideal player

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.’

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  • cristobal

    His name is Kopitar

  • Irish Pat

    That’s fantastic that he wants and expects this from his players, I just hope we have the guys who will want to bleed for one another.

    Is anyone else getting amped about the upcoming season? I know the Kings will struggle (ahem), but I am already antsy. I needs me some Kings hockey!!

  • wavesinair

    Groundbreaking or not, I love it. Thanks Rich. In an earlier post J asked me to define veteran leadership and we all went back and forth on it. What Murray is talking about here is precisely the kind of veteran players I was saying we lacked to start this season. I love how he emphasizes smarts. So another way of putting the question is: how many “Successful Veteran NHL Players” do we have on this team right now according to Terry Murray’s definition? (Great passion, right-attitude, great work-ethic, and intelligence.)

  • nykingfan

    Sounds like his type of players are Kopitar/Brown/JJ That’s good to know.

  • JDM

    I love the quote. And MAN DO I NEEDS ME SOME KINGS HOCKEY Irish Pat!!

    waves – I don’t however see how what he says relates to veteran players. The attitude and attributes he outlines here can just as easily come from a rookie.

    In fact, I think that’s his whole point. No matter who you are on the team, rookie, vet, call-up, 1st liner, 4th liner, PK specialist, goalie, shutdown defenseman, 7th defenseman, fighter, agitator or whatever, every has to play towards a collective ‘muskateerish’ goal.

    I do like it a lot though. I do see players who can do this, Kopitar, Brown, O’Sullivan, Johnson, Handsuz, Ivanans, Stoll and Greene I think, Armstrong for sure, Ellis, all these guys in my observation play like this, and that’s without it being pushed on them quite as vehemently as it seems TM will. I hope this attitude clicks with Frolov. If it does, watch out!

    I think we have players who are like this already, but that Crawford’s style of “Do it because you’re supposed to!” didn’t rub off as well as hopefully Murray’s “Do because it’s the right thing to do” mantra will.

    This really goes hand in hand with what he said in the other part about dealing with young players. Instead of screaming their heads off and making them feel bad for THEMSELVES like Crawford did, Murray sounds to me like he’ll take the appraoch of showing them that they don’t just do this for themselves, and they aren’t letting themselves down by making mistakes, rather they are letting the team down if they aren’t doing everything they can for the guy to their right. Its not even so much about talent or mistakes at it is the mindset with which that talent is used and the mistakes are made.

    I’m so stoked, regardless of the outcome of the season, I want my hockey!

  • MarkE

    I hear allot of talk about whether Doughty going to make the team but when I hear or read reports about camp, the defenseman name I here most is Teubert. They are the same age and he sounds exactly like the type of player Murry likes and we need. I think he fits what we’re looking for as 6th or carrying a 7th D more than Doughty or Hickey right now. They all still need seasoning but if your going to bring one, who’s your preference???

  • mrk

    I hear that MarkE. Can’t wait to see Teubert play myself.

  • wavesinair

    JDM said: “The attitude and attributes he outlines here can just as easily come from a rookie.”

    Absolutely. Didn’t mean to imply Murray meant only vets.

    I’m specifically looking at what is an ideal mix for a good team. And on that team, we have vets, some experienced players, and a rookie (not to mention pipeline players). How many of each is good for you? You’d agree that a ‘good team’ has more ‘murray type players’ that are vets than our team currently does, correct? I see 3.

  • Buck

    “…you have to arrive at the net with an ill attitude.” Now we’re talkin!!!

  • JDM

    Yeah, we could use some more experience. I’d say 2 tops. One 800-1000+ player like Shanahan on our 2nd or 3rd line would be great, and one 600-700+ Dman and I think we’d be set. Except perhaps for a Khabibulin type. I think that would be the perfect scenario for our team, would be to have a guy like that starting the bulk of games, but still giving Bernier 25-35 as a back-up. The problem there is Ersberg, who I want to give a chance, and then giving Zatkoff and Quick the occassional call-up game.

    I agree with you on the ideal team, but I don’t think we need AS MUCH veteran help on our current roster as you’ve expressed in the past. I’m assuming those 3 you talk of are Armstrong, Handsuz and Preissing? Add a Shanahan and a Hedican into the mix and voila. Although a Shanahan type is less important to me, since he’d be taking a spot away from a young guy. I think our forward corp looks pretty good. If Calder, Ellis, Handsuz, Armstrong, Moulson and Ivanans can hunker down defensively on the 3rd and 4th lines, I think we have are solid at forward, or good enough to not have catastrophic results. On D we could definately use one more guy who can eat a fair amount of minutes ~15-18 per game, but more importantly has several several hundred games under his belt. So ultimately, I’d be happy with one addition there.

    It looks like we’ll stack up like this, if we break players into vets, experienced, rookie and pipeline –

    Vets – Handsuz, Armstrong, Preissing (+ undetermined trade or signing).

    Experienced – Stoll, Frolov, Brown, Kopitar, Calder, Ivanans, Greene, Gauthier (who is kind of a toss up between here and vet), Labarbera.

    Rookie – Purcell, Boyle, Doughty, Harrold, Bernier, Ersberg (maybe one more like Martinez or Hickey, depending on the undetermined trade or signing)

    In between limbo players, not rookies, some fair experience – Johnson, O’Sullivan, Ellis, Richardson.

    Not too shabby. Definately one or two many rookies, but hey, we’re going youth, which I think is exciting. Montreal and Pheonix did well and were fun to watch with a large group of rookies. What they did have though was the one player I said I hope we sign, the 1000+ games guy or close to it.

    Works out to

    3 (4) vets
    9 experienced
    6 rookies (5 if you consider its unlikely BOTH Ersberg and Bernier make it)
    4 in betweens

    22 (24) overall players.

    So yeah, we could subtract one or two rookies and replace them with two vets or a vet and an experienced. But I don’t think the situation is severely dire… if anything, it’s shaping up to be… interesting, and at the least exciting.

  • wavesinair

    Nice breakdown JDM! More to come…

  • Anonymous

    We used to have a guy that fit his type of player to a letter…his name was Adam Deadmarsh.I do like this coaches attitude on the guys he likes.

  • Daniel

    Just saw the VERSUS TV schedule for this upcoming year. No LA games being televised. Plenty of Phily games, though!

  • Daniel said:
    Just saw the VERSUS TV schedule for this upcoming year. No LA games being televised. Plenty of Phily games, though

    Just get Center Ice and ignore Worstes

  • Duckhunter

    JDM, Your organizational skills are impeccable. I think this Murray dude is going to be the key. If he can somehow bring these guys together, maybe the year won’t be as bad as I thought. I would be ecstatic if we can play 500 ball. I to am excited for the up coming season.

  • joker

    i talked to a WHL GM yesterday at my office, he said Teubert will be returning to regina this year. he needs to keep beatin on 16 year olds i guess

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  • Who ever wrote this artcile really knew what they were talking about.