By: Nathan Anderson | Follow me on Twitter @dairybeast
When I was younger, I played NHL 06 on my dad’s PC. Of course, I always played as the Bruins, which is where most of my mid-2000s Bruins knowledge comes from. One of my favorite players to use in that game was Glen Murray. He was a big-bodied right-handed forward who wore number 27.
Recently it struck me that a lot of people in my generation might not remember Glen Murray. He did stop playing in 2008, so most people around my age were still very young. The Bruins also weren’t what they are now, so fewer people who weren’t diehard fans would have been tuning in for games.
When I realized this, I thought it might be nice to give people a refresher about who Glen Murray was. So many people think of Sergei Samsonov and Joe Thornton when they think about the Bruins before their success. What people don’t recall, though, is how good Glen Murray was! I’m here to try and change that and spread some awareness about the legend (maybe a bit of hyperbole) of Glen Murray.
When I looked back at his career, one thing I wasn’t aware of was that Murray was actually drafted by the Bruins way back in 1991. His first stint with the Bruins wasn’t as successful as he and Bruins fans would have hoped, however, as he scored just 49 points in 148 games before being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1995. He spent seven years away from the Bruins before rejoining the team in the 2001-2002 season after being traded from the Kings for Jason Allison.
In his return, Murray put up a staggering 35 goals in 73 games with the Bruins. He also added 25 assists for a total of 60 points that season. Added to the six goals, five assists, and 11 points he had for the Kings that season, Murray achieved his first 40 goal season in 01/02.
The following season, in 2002-2003, Murray had the best season of his career. He had his second 40 goal season, scoring 44. He also nearly doubled his assist numbers, finishing with 48 helpers for a total of 92 points. That performance was good enough to earn him a spot in his first All-Star Game in 2003, playing for the Eastern Conference.
He took a bit of a step back the following season, scoring just 32 goals and 60 points. He did, however, make his second All-Star Game in 2004. That was the start of Murray’s decline, though, as his point totals dropped in every subsequent year until his contract was bought out by the Bruins in 2008, scoring 53, 45, and 30 points in his final three seasons.
The one thing Murray lacked in his career, whether it was as a member of the Bruins, Penguins, or Kings, was any substantial playoff success. He did make a couple of deep runs but never got to play in the Stanley Cup Final. I do want to give him some credit for helping to set up the Bruins team that would eventually break through and win the Cup in 2011. As a veteran leader on the 2007-2008 team that lost to the Canadiens in seven games, he was a mentor for guys like Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, and Milan Lucic, who would all play critical roles in bringing the Cup to Boston.
All in all, Glen Murray, in my opinion, is a guy that doesn’t get nearly enough respect from current Bruin fans. He was a great player for the Bruins in the early 2000s in a retooling era that eventually led to Boston’s first Cup since 1972. Is he a Bruins legend with the likes of Bourque, Neely, Orr, or Esposito? Probably not, but he was an excellent player, and I don’t think people of my generation appreciate him for what he was.