The legendary "Murph", just one of the nicknames Larry Murphy had assigned to him throughout his 21-year-career, is the subject of this week's Pens of the Past.
Image found on Legendsofhockey.net
When you're second on the all-time list of NHL defenseman for most post-season games played, you know you've been doing something right. Surpassed only by the Devils' Scott Stevens (who played an extra season than Murph), Larry Murphy spanned his 21 seasons in the NHL out over six different teams. For the sake of this blog, his most memorable stay was in Pittsburgh, where Murphy helped take home two consecutive Cups.
Perhaps his current job as a Detroit Red Wings color commentator would seem a bit treacherous (even more so considering the outcome of this past season), but it seems rightly justified since he closed out the last five years of his career in Detroit.
But enough of that - onto his career.
No matter where he played, Murph was putting up the numbers. But it was when he was in Pittsburgh that number 55 was putting them up consistently (and exceedingly in the playoffs).
In his first season with Pittsburgh, during the Penguins first Cup win in 90/91, Murph tallied 23 points on the blue line (5-18) in the post-season. It would stand as his single greatest post-season performance throughout his entire career.
Most notably (for those who may remember) was the Mike Lange call of the "Murphy Dump." I distinctly remember hearing this as a kid and getting a sick and perverse chuckle out of it. Nowadays it poses as the ideal clear for a line change - shoot the puck in, yet still on goal, so as to switch up the lines and avert the icing call.
Most notably in Murph's career are his four Stanley Cup wins in the 90s. Two came with Pitt, while the other two came with Detroit. He's the only NHL player to have won four Cups in a decade, evidence alone for his 2004 Hall of Fame induction.
Next to Ulf Samuelsson (who we just may see later on in the Pens of the Past series), Murphy was one of my favorite Pittsburgh d-men.