Everett Silvertips captain Ryan Murray’s excursion with Canada’s team for the Men’s World Championships is now over, following Canada’s lost to Slovakia in the quarterfinals.
Murray ended up playing in six of Canada’s eight games, registering no points and a plus-1 rating. He played a total of 47-plus minutes in those six games, which is about eight minutes per game. However, the way it broke down was he played a regular shift in two of Canada’s games against lesser opponents, then was used sparingly in the other games. In the quarterfinal loss he dressed, but played only one shift.
By most accounts, Murray acquitted himself fine. I didn’t find any accounts that suggested Murray did anything particularly good or bad during his brief time on the ice, and that’s a positive thing for an 18-year-old draft-eligible player playing against men for the first time.
However, Murray’s mere presence on the team turned out to be quite the talking point. First, there was the fact he was the second-youngest player ever to appear for Canada’s team at the Men’s World Championships. Then there was the fact that Hockey Canada GM Kevin Lowe also happens to be the president of the Edmonton Oilers, owners of the first-overall pick in the upcoming NHL draft, leading to accusations of ulterior motives for putting Murray on the team. Then there were those in Canada held up the selection of Murray as a symbol of why Canada didn’t fare well in the tournament.
Then to top it off, there was this as an apparent Lowe misquote about Murray in an Edmonton Journal story — did Lowe call Murray the top player or a top player for the upcoming draft? — set off something of a firestorm.
So all in all, quite the eventful three weeks for Murray. I look forward to hearing his take on the experience once he’s returned home.