Respected by both teammates and opponents for his leadership and hard-nosed play, Rob Murray spent 15 seasons as a forward in the American Hockey League.
A third-round draft pick by the Washington Capitals in 1985, Murray made his AHL debut with the Baltimore Skipjacks in 1988-89, racking up 34 points and finishing second on the team with 235 penalty minutes. He joined the Winnipeg Jets organization in 1991 and spent most of the next nine seasons with their AHL affiliates, first in Moncton – where he helped the Hawks reach the Calder Cup Finals in 1994 after scoring 25 goals in the regular season – and then in Springfield, where he quickly became a fan favorite and the face of the city’s new Falcons franchise.
After finishing the 1999-2000 season in Hamilton, Murray signed with the Philadelphia Flyers and began 2000-01 as captain of the AHL’s Philadelphia Phantoms before returning the Falcons later that year. He then spent one season with the Saint John Flames before finishing his career with a third stint in Springfield in 2002-03, becoming the sixth player ever to reach 1,000 regular-season games in the AHL and eventually helping the club to the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Murray reached double digits in goals eight times and triple digits in penalty minutes 12 times during his playing career, and currently ranks second in AHL history with 2,940 PIM and seventh with 1,018 games played. The Toronto native wore the “C” for four different AHL franchises, as well as for the Canadian team at the 1997 AHL All-Star Classic.
Murray transitioned immediately into coaching and spent eight seasons behind the bench with the AHL’s Providence Bruins, winning a Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy (regular-season champions) as an assistant in 2007-08 and reaching the conference finals in his first year as head coach in 2008-09.