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Hockey Fights Cancer

Murray returns to call Blackhawks game on radio after cancer diagnosis

Longtime analyst, former Chicago forward 'so excited to be back here doing what I love best'

by Tracey Myers @Tramyers_NHL / Staff Writer

Troy Murray returned to the Chicago Blackhawks radio booth Wednesday, working his first full broadcast since being diagnosed with cancer Aug. 9.

"I'm not sure I remember what I'm supposed to be doing up here," Murray said on the pregame show prior to the Blackhawks' 5-4 home win against the Washington Capitals in overtime. "There's a lot of emotions going on inside but I'm just so happy, so excited to be back here. My health is what it is but I'm feeling good enough to get back here. I'm really excited and there's a lot I have to be thankful for with the support I've been getting, which is incredible. Just so excited to be back here doing what I love best, which is broadcasting."

The 59-year-old former Chicago forward, who has been an analyst with the Blackhawks since 2006, joined longtime radio partner John Wiedeman. Murray took breaks during the first and second intermissions and signed off at the end of overtime. Paul Caponigri, who had been the Chicago radio analyst this season and was on hand to back up to Murray if needed, did the postgame show. 

Murray, who gets chemotherapy treatments every other Monday, has attended periodic home games this season. The most recent was Nov. 29 when he dropped the ceremonial puck when the Blackhawks hosted Hockey Fights Cancer Night before a game against the San Jose Sharks. Murray was briefly on the radio and television broadcasts that night.

Video: SJS@CHI: Blackhawks drop the puck on HFC night

Murray said Blackhawks television analyst Eddie Olczyk talked with him Wednesday about returning to the booth, telling him to be prepared for how emotional it could be. Olczyk was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in August 2017 and broadcast his first game since the diagnosis when the Chicago played at the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 18 of that year. Olczyk said he was cancer-free March 22, 2018.

Several media members and officials visited Murray in the booth prior to the broadcast.

"That's the support that's been unbelievable through the whole process I've been going through," Murray said on the air. "I can't say enough how much it means to me and my family to get the amazing support we've had. Even to walk downstairs, to see a lot of the people I haven't seen for a long time."

Midway through the third period, Murray thanked Blackhawks owner and chairman Rocky Wirtz, chief executive officer Danny Wirtz, the public relations staff, media and WGN, radio home of the Blackhawks. 

"I really appreciate all the support all you guys have given me," he said on the broadcast. "I'm just glad to be back on the air, and it's just an amazing support cast I've had. It's been very humbling, very amazing. It really warms the heart."

Selected by Chicago in the third round (No. 57) of the 1980 NHL Draft, Murray scored 584 points (230 goals, 354 assists) in 915 NHL games with the Blackhawks, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins and Colorado Avalanche. He won the Selke Trophy, voted as the NHL's best defensive forward, with Chicago in 1986 and won the Stanley Cup with Colorado in 1996.

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