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Ask the Sharks: Murray's Answers

by Alison High / San Jose Sharks
Following practice on Friday, caught up with defenseman Douglas Murray. Below are his answers to your best questions.

1. Your hits are devastating. How long have you been able to check opponents the way you do? - Kenneth Robertson
First of all, I’ve always been fairly big, but it started with my Grandfather, who was quite a physical player. From what I can remember, he was always on me for hitting more. He used to play for our hometown team and I used to go to the games with him and he used to point out different situations where you could step up.

Tampa Bay Lightning's Jeff Halpern, right, and San Jose Sharks' Douglas Murray fight during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Hitting has a lot to do with timing and once you do it enough, it’s easy. I’ve been doing it since I was a kid. I’ve had some parents yell at me from other teams when I was little, but that’s part of it. It’s pretty much been with me all my life.

2. Who on the team helps keep you motivated day in and day out to be your best on the ice? – Cathy Wolfe

You look at guys like J.R., Rob Blake, Mike Grier, Joe Thornton and Patty Marleau - these guys have played for so long. They’re not going to have any young guys out work them. That’s one thing that you really notice when you come to this level. I didn’t know that before I got here.

My father was never a pushy father about hockey, but the one thing he told me that I’ve taken to heart is, ‘if you’re not going to play hard, let some other kid play.’ If I was lazy on the ice, he didn’t yell at me, he just said ‘don’t go out there. Let someone else play.’ That’s something that I’ve really taken with me throughout my career.

3. I love that you take off your helmet before fights, but what is the reason behind it? And what do you think of opponents (i.e. Chris Stewart) that don’t oblige? – Marcia Dinis
Well, I get an extra two minutes if I fight with the visor on. It’s a courtesy thing; it’s an honorable thing to do. Otherwise I go in with an advantage. But the one thing that’s kind of frustrating is that all these guys keep their helmets on. Now I’m at the disadvantage. But what are you going to do? It just makes me want to hit them harder.

Nashville Predators right wing Jordin Tootoo, right, falls into the San Jose Sharks bench after he was checked into the boards by San Jose Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray, left, from Sweden, during the third period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2008. Nashville won in overtime 4-3. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
4. How does your mother feel about your fighting? – Barb
I’ve made some bad comments about this in the past because I know that she really doesn’t like it when I fight, unless I win. But she’ll never admit to that. That came out in a big newspaper article in Sweden and she got really mad at me.

What mother likes to see their son fight? But she knows it’s part of the game. It’s not like she yells at me when I fight or anything. She obviously gets a little scared when I fight, but she’s seen us boys screw up; there was a lot of fighting in the house between my brothers and I. They made me tough – especially my older brother.

5. Being from Sweden, how did you end up at Cornell University? – Mark Crawley

I came over and stayed with the Schlangars, our relatives through marriage on my father’s side. They talked to my parents and threw it out that I could come over to the States and play for their high school team and Junior hockey at the same time. They had a kid the same age as me and I thought it sounded interesting. I was only going to go for one year and learn English, but I really enjoyed them and after the first year, I got a lot of interest from colleges. So I decided to stay another year with them and ended up at Cornell.

6. How did you get involved with the ÜberTap and what role do you play with the company? -Trevor Ezaki
Right now, I’m strictly an owner. I used to be involved a lot more, but ever since I came out to San Jose, I’ve been obligated mentally and physically to playing at this level. All my focus is on hockey. Also, I don’t want to put my name on something and then not be able to back it up. I have a partner that is running everything.

7. Do you know where I could get an ÜberTap in town (Bay Area)? – Luke
You can go to or you can actually go to and it will redirect you there.

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