In their latest documentary series, Canadian sports broadcasting giant TSN profiles the life and times of former 1st overall NHL draft selection Joe Murphy. The former top pick from the 1986 NHL Entry Draft played 18 seasons in the NHL, compiling 233 goals and 528 points in 779 games. He was the first NCAA player to be selected 1st overall when the Detroit Red Wings nabbed him in June of 1986. Murphy would put together a stellar, if not spectacular, career with the Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, San Jose Sharks, Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals.
He put up a career high 35 goals and 82 points with the Oilers during the 1991-92 season and won a Stanley Cup championship with the Oilers two seasons prior. Murphy’s NHL career was riddled with stories about his off ice activities. A notorious partier, Murphy seemingly wore out his welcome almost everywhere he played. During his final season in the NHL during the 2000-01 campaign with the Capitals, Murphy was involved in a bar room altercation after a game in New York City against the New York Rangers. Murphy allegedly tried to pick up a married woman at the bar and had a beer bottle broken over his head during an altercation with the woman’s husband. The following day he was assigned to the Capitals’ AHL affiliate, but Murphy refused to report. He’d never play pro hockey again. Since then, little has been heard from Murphy… that is, until now.
Check out this trailer for tomorrow’s debut of “Finding Murph” on TSN:
Murphy is very clearly a troubled man… but to go from 1st overall draft pick and NCAA superstar to living on the streets of a rural Ontario town… what went wrong? Here’s hoping this TSN documentary does a good job of uncovering the reasons why Murphy lost everything. If nothing else, it could provide the spark for people to help him put the pieces of his life back together. After all, everyone regardless of their past mistakes has the right to live a life of dignity and respect. All the best, Murph.