This is Part Three of a four-part series of interviews taken with Hurricanes prospects after practice on July 10.
Mike Murphy was selected by the Hurricanes in the sixth round of this year’s draft with the 165th overall pick. He played as goalie for the Belleville Bulls of the OHL and had a career year, accumulating an outstanding record of 36-7-4.
Scouts say that he is a bit small for the position and he has an unorthodox style, but no one will compete harder than the Kingston, Ontario, native.
Murphy seemed to have the time of his life while in Raleigh and drew his share of “ooooh's” and “ahhhhh's” from the crowd, especially when he made one particular save against Hall of Famer and Hurricanes Assistant General Manager and Director of Player Development, Ron Francis.
He also absorbed every tidbit of information that Goalie Coach, Tom Barrasso tossed his way.
Murphy seemed very easygoing and was extremely cooperative and approachable for this interview.
CC: What do you attribute to your huge success to last year at Belleville?
MM: It was a combination of things, but most importantly I would have to say that it was because I had a general manager and a coach who believed in me. I never had much of an opportunity to play before last year. Also, we had a championship caliber team at Belleville. There was a lot of talent all up and down the roster.
CC: Who would you say had the toughest shot that you faced last year in the OHL?
MM: I think that it would probably be Johnny Tavares. When he is coming at you with the puck, you have no idea what he will do with it. I should point out though that I never had to face Stamkos. I’m sure that he would be tough as well.
CC: What’s been your proudest moment so far in your career, on and off the ice?
MM: Off the ice, no doubt it is being drafted, especially by a class organization like the Carolina Hurricanes. It was a dream come true for me and I can’t say enough good things about the Hurricanes. They are first class in everything they do. I have learned so much at this camp I can’t even begin to tell you, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to come here and learn.
On the ice, I am most proud of setting the record for most wins ever for a goalie in a single regular season at Belleville.
CC: On the other end of the spectrum, what would be your most embarrassing or humorous moment on the ice?
MM: Well, we were playing a game in Saginaw, Mich., and it was pretty early in the season and I hadn’t played very many games yet. I was pretty nervous and I wasn’t used to the American anthem being played. So when they started playing the anthem after warm-ups, I forgot to take my mask off. I was just standing in front of my net, trying to focus on the game which was about to begin, and it hadn’t occurred to me to take off the mask.
About halfway through the Anthem, the crowd really started giving it to me, they were heckling me big time, and I was thinking to myself what is their problem? Then I realized, oh my gosh, I forgot to take off my mask. So I quickly took it off and kind of flicked it off to the side. Then after the anthem was finished, the crowd got even louder and they heckled me more than ever. I admit that I got even more nervous at that point.
But then the worst thing that happened was that Saginaw scored against us just about a minute into the game. Thank goodness we ended up winning in overtime.
CC: That’s a good story Mike, thanks for sharing and best of luck to you.
MM: Thank you, and thanks for your time.
I wouldn’t ask just anybody about their “embarrassing moments,” but he was so down to earth and easygoing that I didn’t think that he would mind, and I was right. He was actually amused while sharing the story with me.
One couldn’t help but walk away from the interview liking that young man. Hopefully, he will have another outstanding year for Belleville again this coming season.