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|1976 NHL DRAFT PICK|
Selected in first round
6 overall by New York Rangers
Born October 25, 1956
Height: 5-11 Weight: 180
|BEFORE THE DRAFT|
Medicine Hat (WCHL)
Birthplace: Cranbrook, B.C. (Canada)
Cranbrook, British Columbia
PRE-DRAFT AWARDS AND HONORS
WCHL Rookie of Year: 1974-75 (Medicine Hat)
BCJHL MVP: 1973-74 (Vernon)
WCHL All-Star First Team: 1974-75, 1975-76 (Medicine Hat)
BCJHL All-Star First Team: 1973-74 (Vernon)
BCJHL All-Star Game: 1974 (Vernon)
WCHL/WHL Records: Most
goals by a rookie (82 in 1974-75)
Goals Leader: 1975-76 (Medicine Hat) (88)
Goals Leader: 1974-75 (Med. Hat) (82), 1975-76 (M. Hat) (88)
Miscellaneous: Rated in The Hockey News draft preview issue as
WCHL's No. 2 prospect for the 1976 NHL draft. ... Set WCHL/WHL record (since
broken) for points by a rookie with 141 in 1974-75. ... Played on line with
Greg Carroll and Morris Lukowich for Medicine Hat in 1975-76.
| Debut: October 6, 1976 (Minnesota at N.Y.
Numbers: 14 (N.Y. Rangers); 47 (Edmonton); 14
Stanley Cup: Never won.
Playing Status: Retired 1986
|CAREER NHL STATISTICS|
NYR, EDM, DET||320||
|CAREER NHL PLAYOFF STATISTICS|
N.Y. Rangers, Edmonton||24||
AWARDS AND HONORS
All-Star Game: 1977 (N.Y. Rangers)
Stanley Cup Finals (Lost): 1979 (N.Y. Rangers)
NHL Records: Most goals in a game by a rookie (5 for N.Y. Rangers at
Minnesota on Oct. 12, 1976, shares record)
N.Y. Rangers Records:
Most goals in a game (5 at Minnesota on Oct. 12, 1976)
N.Y. Rangers Playoffs Points Leader: 1978 (4)
N.Y. Rangers Playoffs Assists Leader: 1978 (3)
Edmonton Playoffs Goals Leader: 1980 (2, tie)
1979-80: Played on first Edmonton Oilers NHL team.
Scouting Career: Named N.Y. Rangers amateur scout for Michigan and
Ontario during 1986-87 season and remained in that position through 1988-89
season. ... Named Tampa Bay amateur scout for U.S. colleges and Ontario prior
to team's inaugural 1992-93 season and remained in that position until July
Management Career: Named Tampa Bay head scout on July 29,
1994, and remained in that position until Oct. 20, 1998. ... Named Tampa Bay
Director of Player Development on Oct. 20, 1998, and remained in that position
through 1998-99 season.
Miscellaneous: Scored two goals in his first NHL game and five goals in
fourth NHL game. Both games were played against Minnesota. ... Scored 16 goals
in his first 16 NHL games. ... Set N.Y. Rangers record (since broken) for
goals by rookie with 32 in 1976-77. ... Tied N.Y. Rangers record (since
broken) for points by rookie with 54 in 1976-77. ... Was runner-up to Willi
Plett for 1976-77 Calder Trophy. ... Missed end of 1976-77 season with torn
tendon in left ankle, an injury suffered in a mid-February practice with N.Y.
Rangers. The injury required two surgeries, including a postseason operation in May 1977.
... Missed part of 1977-78 season with slipped vertebra. ... Had shoulder
surgery in September 1978 to correct chronic shoulder dislocation. ... Missed
start of 1978-79 under drug-related suspension. ... Traded by Edmonton to
Minnesota in exchange for Don Jackson and return of Edmonton's 1982
third-round pick (Wally Chapman) on Aug. 21, 1981. Minnesota then traded
Murdoch and Greg Smith to Detroit in exchange for the option to switch
first-round draft picks in 1982. The North Stars exercised this option and
chose Brian Bellows, while the Red Wings chose Murray Craven.
Suspension: On Aug. 12, 1977, Murdoch was arrested in Toronto
International Airport for attempting to bring drugs across the U.S.-Canada
border. Airport police said Murdoch had 4.8 grams of cocaine, which he was
trying to bring from New York to Toronto. The charges led to a Canadian court
conviction for possession of cocaine, but Murodch's sentence was suspended.
The NHL, however, decided to fine Murdoch $500 and suspend him for the entire
1978-79 season on July 6, 1978. NHL president John Ziegler wanted to use
Murdoch to set an example for other players by showing the extreme price of a
drug-related offense while playing in the league. The 80-game suspension was
the most severe penalty given to an NHL player since the 1945-46 season, when
two players were banned from the league for allegedly betting on their games.
Ziegler left open the option of ending Murdoch's suspension after 40 games,
which eventually did happen. The Rangers, however, were not allowed to appeal
the suspension until after their 30th game, and only if Murdoch stayed out of
trouble until then. Murdoch was permitted to practice with the Rangers during
his suspension, but could not play in any preseason or regular-season games.
He also was banned from playing in Rangers scrimmages that were open to the
public. The suspension was lifted on Jan. 3, 1979, and Murdoch returned to
action on Jan. 10, 1979.
|Post-Draft Teams: Wichita (CHL); Adirondack (AHL);
Montana (CHL); Muskegon, Indianapolis, Toledo (IHL)|
AWARDS AND HONORS
CHL McNab Trophy (Playoffs MVP):
WHA Draft Pick: 1976 (by
Cincinnati, No. 12 overall in Round 2)
CHL Records: Most goals in
one playoff year (17 for Wichita in 1981)
CHL Playoffs Goals Leader: 1981
(Wichita) (17 goals)
1985-86: Played 12 games for Muskegon team that
went on to win IHL playoff title, but was not with team during postseason.
Coaching Career: Named Louisiana (ECHL) head coach prior to 1999-00
season and remained in position through 1999-00 season.
Career: Named St. Petersburg (ACHL) vice president and director of
corporate sales on Sept. 30, 2002, relocated with team to Winston-Salem on
Dec. 4, 2002, and remained in that position into 2002-03 season.
Miscellaneous: Missed part of
1982-83 season with injured Achilles tendon suffered in October 1982. ...
Missed part of 1984-85 season with torn knee ligaments, an injury suffered in
Personal: Nicknamed "Doc" and "Murder." ...
Full name is Donald Walter Murdoch. ... Younger brother of former NHL player
Bob L. Murdoch. ... Distant cousin of former NHL players Billy Dea and Murray Murdoch.
|HOW HE GOT AWAY|
|TRADE: N.Y. Rangers traded Murdoch to
Edmonton in exchange for Cam Connor and 1981 third-round pick (Peter Sundstrom)
on March 11, 1980. As part of the deal, N.Y. Rangers had a choice of making
the draft pick in 1980 or 1981, and they chose to do it in 1981.||
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