Glen Murray is not only a Los Angeles Kings alum and a seasoned NHL veteran, but an active member of the LA Kings Alumni Association (presented by Toyota) and a busy family man. With 16 seasons of hockey under his belt, Murray, 39, has played in 1,009 games. The right-winger wore the Kings jersey for five years, beginning in 1996 until 2001, racking up 103 goals and 108 assists in LA. I caught up with Glen on hockey, LA and life after he hung up his skates.
Q: Tip-A-King is coming up on Sunday, Nov. 13 at the Sony Picture Studios in Culver City. You obviously attended a few Tip-A-Kings in your career with the Kings. Talk about it from a player’s perspective.
Murray: It’s a great event for the fans to come and meet the players and to interact, to get to know their personalities, because most of the fans just see the players on the ice and them playing, and to get them in an environment that they’re relaxed and there for the fans, it’s a great event.
Q: What’s your best memory of playing with the Kings?
Murray: Well, there are a lot of good memories. I was here for five years and had some great teammates and made a lot of friends. As far as playing, I think it was probably when we beat Colorado in overtime in Game Six to go onto Game Seven. We unfortunately lost in Game Seven but we beat Detroit in the series before—it was a memorable event.
Q: Describe how you felt the first time you stepped on the ice wearing a Kings jersey.
Murray: It was different. I got traded from Pittsburgh to LA, and I had been here before and played against the Kings, but never got to really see any of California. Being from a small town in Canada, I arrived in LA—I’m like wow, this is a big city, but I loved it. It was a great honor to put that Kings uniform on because the history with Gretzky and Luc and all kinds of different players and Dave Taylor and Marcel Dionne. It was a great honor and I was lucky enough to play for the Kings for five years.
Q: You played in both the Forum and STAPLES Center during your career. What was it like transitioning to a different rink?
Murray: The Forum was great. I got the chance to play in the Boston Garden, the old Boston Garden too and playing in the Forum was similar to that. Watching on TV as a kid and seeing all those players play and then for it transform into STAPLES Center—it was the 21st century—this building is maybe 10 years old and still is unbelievable to go and watch the games there.
Q: You scored an overtime goal in the 2001 playoffs against the Colorado Avalanche. Describe how you felt before and after the monumental goal.
Murray: It was a big game. I think we were down three games to two and obviously we needed to win, the game was 0-0, going in overtime against the Avalanche. They had a guy that we had traded there, Rob Blake, and playing against those guys, it was tough but we had a great team and we played really well. For that goal it’s just…it was a lucky bounce, I mean I’ve said it after the game, I’ve said it many times before, it’s just…I shot it from the blue line. Patrick Roy was the goalie and he kind of gave me that look, and what do you do—I was just trying to get the puck on net in overtime and it was very exciting at the time, and unfortunately we went on to lose in Game Seven.”
Q: Describe a typical day for you today.
Murray: A typical day today for me would be, well, I’ve got three kids, and my son likes to get up very early so it’s 5:30 to 5:45—up very early, get ready for school—he likes to go to school early. And I have two girls, so trying to get everyone ready. It’s amazing, we have three kids and we have friends that have five kids and I’m not sure exactly how they do it, but I get the kids to school, and I go to the gym, and I got a lot of different projects going on back in Canada. It’s amazing how quickly the day goes, and it’s already 4 o’clock in the afternoon, off to soccer practice, off to hockey practice, gymnastics, tennis—a very hands-on father right now.
Q: What are your thoughts on the state of hockey in the US, especially LA?
Murray: I think it’s growing, no question about it. I mean being part of the youth hockey for the last three years with the Junior Kings, it’s amazing the kids that are involved—the athleticism that kids have in California is incredible and I think that it says a lot for hockey in California. I know there are the Junior Kings and the Junior Ducks, LA Hockey in Simi Valley, Pasadena—there are all kinds of youth hockey coming up through the ranks. I think hockey in the US is strong. I mean, it’s tough, it’s different then promoting in Canada because Canada is Canada—it’s hockey—but I think hockey in California is growing. You can see from the last few drafts, there are kids from California being drafted in the first round and it’s great to see. I think there’s going to be more and more of that as we go along here.
Q: The Kings jerseys have gone through many changes throughout the years and most recently over the summer. What do you think of the jerseys?
Murray: I love it. I think when I first got traded to the Kings we had the old black and white ones too, I mean it was a different crest, but I think it’s great. I think the colors stand out, the LA crest stands out—not that I wasn’t a big fan of the jerseys before—these ones are much better and the players look good with them on.