Don Murdoch

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For the New Zealand cricketer, see Donald Murdoch (cricketer).
Don Murdoch
Born (1956-10-25) October 25, 1956 (age 59)
Cranbrook, BC, CAN
Height 6 ft 02 in (188 cm)
Weight 210 lb (95 kg; 15 st 0 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shot Right
Played for New York Rangers
Edmonton Oilers
Detroit Red Wings
NHL Draft 6th overall, 1976
New York Rangers
WHA Draft 12th overall, 1976
Cincinnati Stingers
Playing career 1976–1986

Donald Walter Murdoch (born October 25, 1956 in Cranbrook, British Columbia) is a Canadian retired former professional ice hockey player. After a standout junior career with the Medicine Hat Tigers, Murdoch made the New York Rangers as a 20-year-old and had an impressive rookie season, scoring 56 points in 59 games his rookie season, including a Rangers rookie record of 32 goals.[1] On October 12, 1976, Murdoch tied Howie Meeker's record for most goals in one game by a rookie with 5,[1] against the Minnesota North Stars.[2] A torn Achilles tendon ended his season in February.

In the offseason in 1977 after his first season, Murdoch was caught by customs agents in Toronto with 4.5 grams of cocaine stashed in his socks. He was suspended by the league for the entire 1978-79 season (later reduced to 40 games) and later admitted to having a drinking and drug problem.[3][4]

As a New York Ranger in the 1980-1981 season, he would set a club record for most single-season game-winning goals in a season (9), which would later be tied by Mark Messier (1996–97) and Jaromír Jágr (2005-06).

He played 320 career games in the National Hockey League (NHL) but never regained the form of his first season, and retired after stops with the Edmonton Oilers and Detroit Red Wings.

After his playing career, Murdoch worked as a scout for the Tampa Bay Lightning, under general manager Phil Esposito.

He is a distant cousin of former Ranger Murray Murdoch.[5]

Legacy[edit]

In the book 100 Ranger Greats (John Wiley & Sons, 2009) by Russ Cohen, John Halligan and Adam Raider, the authors ranked Murdoch No. 99 on the all-time list of New York Rangers.

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1974–75 Medicine Hat Tigers WCHL 70 82 59 141 83 5 1 5 6 15
1975–76 Medicine Hat Tigers WCHL 70 88 77 165 202 7 4 3 7 23
1976–77 New York Rangers NHL 59 32 24 56 47
1977–78 New York Rangers NHL 66 27 28 55 41 3 1 3 4 4
1978–79 New York Rangers NHL 40 15 21 36 6 18 7 5 12 12
1979–80 New York Rangers NHL 56 23 19 42 16
1979–80 Edmonton Oilers NHL 10 5 2 7 4 3 2 0 2 0
1980–81 Wichita Wind CHL 22 15 10 25 48 18 17 7 24 24
1980–81 Edmonton Oilers NHL 40 10 9 19 18
1981–82 Adirondack Red Wings AHL 24 11 13 24 24 4 5 0 5 14
1981–82 Detroit Red Wings NHL 49 9 13 22 23
1982–83 Adirondack Red Wings AHL 35 10 12 22 19
1983–84 Montana Magic CHL 17 10 10 20 2
1983–84 Adirondack Red Wings AHL 59 26 20 46 19
1984–85 Muskegon Lumberjacks IHL 32 18 13 31 4 16 6 3 9 26
1985–86 Muskegon Lumberjacks IHL 12 4 4 8 0
1985–86 Indianapolis Checkers IHL 11 4 3 7 4
1985–86 Toledo Goaldiggers IHL 37 15 23 38 8
NHL totals 320 121 116 237 155 24 10 8 18 16

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Weiner, Evan (13 October 2007). "Murdoch's NHL career was like a comet". NHL.com. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  2. ^ Zipay, Steve (2008). The good, the bad, and the ugly. heart-pounding, jaw-dropping, and gut-wrenching moments in New York Rangers history. Chicago, Ill.: Triumph Books. p. 43. ISBN 1572439653. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  3. ^ McRae, Earl (5 January 1979). "Season on ice: Murdoch played a losing game". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  4. ^ Murdoch's biography at Hockey Draft Central
  5. ^ "Don Murdoch". New York Rangers. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
Preceded by
Wayne Dillon
New York Rangers first round draft pick
1976
Succeeded by
Lucien DeBlois