Certainly, a great deal of excitement and expectation will be attached to the arrival of the world’s most expensive minor league ice hockey arena in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Surely, then, the record-smashing $ 158.0 million dollar Palace of Sport will demand more of its professional pucksters than the playoff-less performances of the now-doomed Adirondack Phantoms. Even before the structural steel has arrived at the Hamilton Street construction site, itself, the pressure to deliver results continues to build unabated in Chairman Pawlowski’s City With No Spending Limits.
The Philadelphia Flyers, undoubtedly aware of the situation at hand, have installed former National Hockey League defenseman and head coach TERRY MURRAY to lead their top minor league affiliate as it contests its last season in Glens Falls, New York. The 61-year-old native of Shawville, Quebec, skated in 115 NHL games for Philadelphia in the 1970s and early 1980s before later taking charge of the club behind the bench in the mid-1990s. Most recently, Murray was let go this past winter by the Los Angeles Kings, who, of course, went on to win the Stanley Cup a few weeks ago.
And so, Murray becomes the fourth head coach in the history of the Adirondack Phantoms as they begin their fourth season of competition in the American Hockey League … whether or not the experienced Murray can navigate the coming 2012/13 campaign in upstate New York and successfully complete the journey south to Allentown remains to be seen.
The well-traveled Terry Murray did manage to make 302 appearances in the National Hockey League for the California Golden Seals, Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit Red Wings and Washington Capitals over the course of his 12-year career. But the typical conservative-style, stay-at-home rearguard was also a highly-decorated performer on his travels in the American Hockey League, too. Originally chosen in the 7th round (# 88 overall) of the 1970 NHL Draft by since-departed California, the Ottawa 67s product was selected AHL First Team All-Star on three occasions (1976, 1978, 1979) and also earned the Eddie Shore Award as the AHL’s best defenseman twice (’78 and ’79).
It is interesting to note that none of the six AHL clubs Murray ever played for back in his day — the Providence Reds, Baltimore Clippers, Boston Braves, Richmond Robins, Maine Mariners and Philadelphia Firebirds — still exist.