November is Hockey Fights Cancer Month in the NHL. Throughout the month, NHL.com will be telling stories of those in and around the League who have been impacted by cancer. Today, Chicago Blackhawks analyst Troy Murray.
CHICAGO — Troy Murray has been more of a fixture at practices and in the radio and broadcast booths for the Chicago Blackhawks this season.
It’s been a busy time but a better time for the retired NHL forward, who was diagnosed with cancer Aug. 9, 2021.
“Compared to a year ago, my stamina and endurance is much better,” Murray said. “It got to a point where I wasn’t able to do a lot and that was frustrating for me being very active my whole life. But I’m in a position now where I have the ability to do some things I couldn’t do.
“I appreciate the fact that I am in this position, I don’t take anything for granted at this point. Just to be able to come back and do the broadcasting, which is good mentally for me, which is also good as far as your overall health and well-being, I’m glad I’ve been able to be put in this position to come back.”
Murray, who’s worked with radio play-by-play man John Wiedeman since 2006, continues to battle cancer. He will be part of the pregame ceremonies when the Blackhawks host their Hockey Fights Cancer Night before playing the Los Angeles Kings at United Center on Thursday (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCH, BSW, ESPN+, SN NOW).
Murray had 584 points (230 goals, 354 assists) in 915 NHL games for the Blackhawks, Winnipeg Jets, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins and Colorado Avalanche. He won the 1986 Selke Trophy voted as best defensive forward in the NHL and the Stanley Cup with the Avalanche in 1996.
It’s a far cry from last season, when Murray didn’t attend his first practice until Oct. 21. That day, captain Jonathan Toews gathered the Blackhawks at center ice, where they saluted and gave Murray a lengthy stick tap.
“It’s obviously nice to have him back and see him doing as many games as he’s doing this year,” Toews said Oct. 21. “He’s obviously got a long history with this organization as a player but also as a voice behind this team. For me, he’s been a tremendous mentor and a person I’ve looked up to over the years. It’s always a relief and happy to see him doing better and feeling better, so it means a lot to us to have him around.”
Murray participated in the ceremonial puck drop and made brief appearances on television and radio broadcasts when the Blackhawks hosted Hockey Fights Cancer Night before a game against the San Jose Sharks on Nov. 28 of last season. A thinner Murray walked the carpet on the ice behind Devin Pittges, who was in remission after a fight against Osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer, and put his hand on the back of the 15-year-old as he approached center ice.
Seeing Murray back on a regular basis has been great for everyone, including Blackhawks players.
“He’s obviously a guy who’s fun to see every day to talk about hockey or life in general,” forward Patrick Kane said. “I think he’s a staple for this organization and kind of like ‘Eddie O’ (former Blackhawks forward and broadcaster Eddie Olczyk). These people who have been around so long and mean so much to the organization, going through some tougher times. It’s nice to see him doing better, for sure.”
This season, Murray looks and sounds better. He’s gained back some weight. His voice is strong again. Work has been a good distraction from his ongoing cancer fight, and he’s a proud participant in Hockey Fights Cancer.
“It’s really important month of the year for the NHL, I think the most important month of the year,” Murray said. “Everyone’s affected, whether it’s personally, familywise, friends-wise, everyone’s been affected. So everyone can connect with what goes on with that illness.
“Last year, I think that was the first time a lot of people saw me. I think there was some shock and awareness. This year I will be part of some of the ceremonial aspects of Hockey Fights Cancer for the Blackhawks. But for me, it hits home, and I think it’s just important to raise the awareness of how massive cancer is, to bring it to light the way the NHL does, the way individual teams do. I think it’s a really important night for a lot of people because this affects everybody.”
After parting ways with longtime quarterback Russell Wilson in a blockbuster trade last offseason, the Seattle Seahawks turned to Geno
The House of Representatives is one more vote in the affirmative away from likely legalizing North Carolina online sports betting and expanding brick-and-mo
In addition to the mobile sports betting apps approved in Maryland, there are also 10 retail sports wagering facilities in the state, but the lion's share of fa