Before the Chicago Blackhawks notched a 3-2 overtime win over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night, radio analyst Troy Murray came down from his booth to receive the One More Shift honors from the team he skated for during the 1980s.
Murray’s voice has become synonymous with the Blackhawks, having served as a color commentator on TV for a brief time but more frequently on the Hawks’ radio broadcasts over the last two decades. But before all that, this week’s Former Blackhawk of the Week made his mark on the organization as a skater.
Just like the Blackhawks forward who currently wears No. 19, Murray was drafted out of North Dakota (he was inducted into that Hall of Fame in 2003), taken in the third round (57th overall) of the 1980 NHL Draft. He debuted in the 1981-82 season and scored his first NHL goal in the playoffs that season, part of a five-goal eruption in a 7-4 Chicago win in the Norris Division Semifinal against the St. Louis Blues.
Murray’s best season came in the 1985-86 campaign, skating on the famed “Clydesdales” line along with Curt Fraser and Eddie Olczyk — earning that moniker thanks to all three players weighing more than 200 pounds. Playing in 80 games that season, Murray set career highs in goals (45), assists (54) and points (99) for a Chicago team that won the Norris Division before falling to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs. At the end of the season, Murray was honored for his two-way play by winning the Frank J. Selke Trophy, annually awarded to the league’s best defensive forward. Only two other Blackhawks have won that award: Dirk Graham in 1990-91 and Jonathan Toews in 2012-13.
There were plenty of highlights among the 197 goals Murray scored for the Hawks in his decade with the team, and YouTube has one of them. Here’s a game-winner Murray scored in the 1989 season finale against the Toronto Maple Leafs, sending the Chicago Stadium crowd into a frenzy:
It’s a good thing Murray stuck with forward, because goalie wasn’t his thing.
In the final seasons of his career, Murray became a bit of a nomad. He was traded to the Winnipeg Jets in 1991, only to be traded back to the Hawks in February 1993. In March 1994, he was traded to the Ottawa Senators and was later shipped to the Pittsburgh Penguins in April 1995. That summer, he signed with the Colorado Avalanche. Murray played in 63 regular season games, notching 21 points, and also suited up for 8 Stanley Cup Playoff games for the Avalanche. Colorado ended that season with the franchise’s first Stanley Cup championship and the lone Cup victory of Murray’s career. He then spent the 1996-97 season with the Chicago Wolves, retiring at the end of it and debuting in the Hawks’ broadcast booth one year later.
Murray’s name still owns a spot in the Blackhawks’ record book: he’s tied for 7th in Blackhawks history with 17 shorthanded goals.