A big story line that will play out in the Kings home opener on Saturday is the father vs. son, Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader angle as the Kings’ Brady Murray
plays against his father Andy Murray, head coach of the St. Louis Blues.
“It will be a little weird to look on the other bench and see my dad over there, but I am just treating it like my first [NHL home game],” the younger Murray said. “I know he is coaching the other team, but that doesn’t matter to me at all.
“I was more concerned about making the team.”
Brady Murray, one of 14 forwards on the Kings roster, was one of the surprises of camp has seen action in both Kings games thus far this year, logging 14 shifts in 11:10 in his NHL debut on Sept. 29 and another 12:15 and 16 shifts on Sept. 30.
He is scoreless, with one shot on goal and two PIMs. Both games were played in London, vs. the Anaheim Ducks.
His father was watching.
“It was one of the most emotional things when I saw him take his first shift,” Andy Murray told the Winnipeg Sun on Tuesday. “I thought of my dad, who’s no longer with us but was such a passionate hockey guy. It probably choked me up as much as anything in the last few years. Whether he plays another shift or not, he played in the NHL. Not many guys can say they played their first NHL game in London.”
Andy Murray coached the Los Angeles Kings from 1999-2006 and is the all-time franchise leader in wins (215) and games coached (480).
Andy was still the head guy in Los Angeles when the Kings made Brady their 5th round choice, 152nd overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Brady then enrolled at the University of North Dakota, where he skated in 37 games as a freshman, scoring 19-27=36. He then played for the USA at the World Junior Championships, scoring two goals in the six-game tournament for the Americans.
After another 8-12=20, 25-game campaign in North Dakota, Murray went over seas to play in Switzerland.
Still, Brady was a fixture at Kings rookie camps and was in constant contact with his father.
“[He taught me] pretty much all aspects of the game,” Brady recalls. “When I was growing up and he was here in LA, he didn’t get to see me play much, but I would talk to him after the game and he would talk to my coaches and find out exactly how I played and things I needed to work on.
“He would give me pointers and what I needed to work on but also ways to improve my game.”
And the phone calls did not stop now that Andy is in St. Louis.
“I talked to him a few times and he gave me a few tips,” Brady said. “Throughout camp I was calling him a lot and he was giving me pointers here and there, he has always done that for me.
Brady has learned a lot from his father, obviously, and talks about how he learned how carry yourself as a professional and how to act on and off the ice from his father.
Now he hopes to use those lessons and light the lamp against the Blues on Saturday.
“That’ll be pretty special if I can score against them.”