The New York Rangers extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Murray Murdoch, who passed away on Thursday, May 17, 2001 in Pawley's Island, S.C. Murdoch, 96, the oldest living Stanley Cup champion, truly embodied the pride and passion of the New York Rangers and will always hold a strong place in the hearts of Blueshirt fans.
JOHN MURRAY MURDOCH (1904 - 2001) John Murray Murdoch was born in Lucknow, Ontario on May 19, 1904, was raised in Edgerton, Alberta, and by the time he was old enough to carry a stick, he was in love with the game of hockey.
Murdoch, a true athlete, also played tennis, baseball and football at St. John's College School in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where he became a leader as captain of the championship football squad. In his senior year at the University of Manitoba, his hockey team won the Canadian Junior Hockey championship and the Memorial Cup, with Murdoch tallying nine of the team's 14 goals during the victory run.
After graduating in 1924, Murdoch began his professional career with the Winnipeg Maroons of the Canadian Central League. In 1926, he was the first player to be signed by the New York Rangers, beginning an 11-year career with the club in which he never missed a single NHL game. Playing mostly on a line with Cecil Dillon and Butch Keeling, Murdoch recorded 84 goals and 108 assists for 192 points, along with 197 penalty minutes in 508 regular season matches. The speedy, defensive-minded forward was a key component of the Rangers' a first two Stanley Cup championships, in 1927-28 and 1932-33.
Aptly named the "Ironman of Hockey" at that time, Murdoch appeared in 600 consecutive games (including exhibition and playoffs) with the Rangers, a record that stood for nearly 30 years. He retired from the Blueshirts in 1937 and spent the next season as assistant coach and captain of the Philadelphia Ramblers of the American Hockey League.
In 1938, Murdoch was named the fourth head coach of Yale University and spent the next 27 years as the team's mentor. His teams compiled a record of 263-236-20, while capturing seven Big Three championships and two league titles.