LBC's All-Time Florida Panthers Roster Countdown: 11. Gord Murphy
Welcome back to LBC's exclusive Panthers roster countdown, where we post a profile of every player to ever skate or tend goal for Florida's southernmost franchise. There's more explanation behind this link.
In yesterday's edition, we touched on the career of former all-star center Viktor Kozlov (414 games, 101 goals, 190 assists). In our story today, we're going to take the time to look at a defenseman from Ontario who is currently a member of Florida's coaching staff.
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11. Gord Murphy
Murphy was a 6'2" defenseman from Willowdale, Ontario. In 59 games with the 1984-85 OHL Oshawa Generals, he totalled three goals and 12 assists. The Philadelphia Flyers selected him in the ninth round of the 1985 NHL Entry Draft with the 189th overall pick. He would spend two more seasons with the Generals, scoring 14 goals and 45 assists in 120 contests.
Murphy made his professional debut with the 1987-88 Hershey Bears (62 games, eight goals, 20 assists). He logged eight assists in 12 playoff games with the Bears as the team took home the 1988 Calder Cup. He joined the Flyers the following season out of training camp, catching on with the team for the next three and a half seasons (261 games, 31 goals, 97 assists). The Flyers traded him to the Boston Bruins on January 2, 1992 with Brian Dobbin, a third round pick (Sergei Zholtok) and a fourth round pick (Charles Paquette) for Garry Galley, Wes Walz, and a third round pick (Milos Holan).
In parts of two seasons with Boston, Murphy appeared in 91 games, scoring eight goals and 18 assists. On June 20th, 1993, the Bruins sent him to the Dallas Stars for future considerations. He never played a game in Dallas. He was left unprotected in the expansion draft just four days later by Florida.
Bill Lindsay, along with Murphy, were the only Panthers to play in all 84 games of Florida's inaugural 1993-94 campaign. He led all Panthers defensemen with 14 goals on 172 shots, placing third on the club with 29 assists. In total, his 43 points on the season represented a career high. He finished the year with a minus-11 rating and 71 penalty minutes. He had seven contests where he totalled more than one point, including a three assist effort on January 24th as the Panthers pummeled the Montreal Canadiens, 8-3.
1994-95 would see Murphy play in 46 of Florida's strike-shortened 48 games season. He had five multi-point games, and again led Florida blueliners with six goals on 94 shots. His 16 assists ranked second on the club, and he finished out the season with a minus-14 rating and 24 penalty minutes.
Murphy started out strong in 1995-96. In only his third game totalling a goal and an assist as the Panthers beat Montreal 6-1. Later, he strung together three consecutive two assist games from December 16-23 (all wins). On January 23rd, he put up a season high three points (one goal, two assists) as the Panthers defeated the Washington Capitals, 5-4. He played in a total of 70 games, scoring eight goals on 125 shots with 22 assists, a team fourth best plus-5 rating, and 30 penalty minutes. In 14 playoff games, he dished out four assists as the Panthers advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals.
In 1996-97, Murphy scored eight goals on 137 shots through 80 games played. On January 5th, he scored a season high two goals in a 5-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings. He had 15 assists, a plus-3 rating, and 51 penalty minutes through the season. In Florida's postseason five game series loss to the New York Rangers, Murphy led the Panthers with five assists.
1997-98 would see Murphy rank third on the team with 79 games played. He six goals on 123 shots, pitched in 11 assists, finished at minus-3 and spent 46 minutes in the sin bin. On October 4th, he had a season high two assists in a 5-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Murphy averaged 19:57 TOI through 51 games in 1998-99. He failed to score despite putting 56 shots on net, assisting on seven goals and rating a plus-4 with only 16 penalty minutes. The Panthers traded him to the Atlanta Thrashers with Herbert Vasiljevs, Daniel Tjarnqvist and a sixth round pick (eventually became Justin Cox) for goaltender Trevor Kidd on June 25, 1999.
Murphy played two seasons for the Thrashers (85 games, four goals, 21 assists) before finishing out his playing career with the Boston Bruins (15 games, zero goals, two assists). He officially announced his retirement on March 19th.
Starting in 2002-03, Murphy made his coaching debut as an assistant with the Columbus Blue Jackets. After seven seasons, he joined the Panthers staff for the 2010-11 season, and remains with the club. His son Connor was a first round pick for the Phoenix Coyotes in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
All-Time Statline: Six seasons, 410 games, 42 goals, 100 assists, 142 points, minus-16 rating, 238 PIM, 30.0 APS.
Thanks for reading today. Make sure to check back tomorrow as we breach the top 10 with a Hall-of-Fame right winger from Moscow.