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The Malik Report

Adding Larry Murphy was one of the Red Wings’ best trade deadline moves—ever

Just before I head out the door to take in the Wings-Stars game (click for game-day updates): TSN’s posted “trade deadline primers” for the Eastern and Western conferences which are pretty darn solid, but as Fanhouse’s Monte Stewart makes the baffling suggesting that the Red Wings might move Kris Draper for a depth forward and/or goaltender (um, no), NHL.com’s Corey Masisak allows Wings fans to revisit one of the best moves the Red Wings ever made at the trade deadline in acquiring an old, slow player who did nothing less than help the team win back-to-back Stanley Cups:

As the trade deadline beckoned in 1997, the Detroit Red Wings were clearly positioned as one of the top teams in the NHL. Detroit had won four division titles in five years and won at least two playoff series in each of the previous two seasons.

The Red Wings were looking for one final move to help put them over the top, and getting defenseman Larry Murphy from the Toronto Maple Leafs proved to be such a move. Murphy had a falling out with the Maple Leafs, but the trade with Detroit helped the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup in back-to-back seasons.
Toronto wanted Murphy out after he had been with the Maple Leafs for two seasons and essentially traded him for nothing. The move to Detroit to play for his former coach, Scotty Bowman, helped revitalize Murphy’s career.  Murphy had 2 goals and 6 points for the Red Wings in the regular season after the trade, but the deal really started to pay off in the postseason. He had 11 points, the most of any Detroit defenseman, and led all NHL players in the 1997 Stanley Cup playoffs with a plus-16 rating.

Bowman paired Murphy with a young Nicklas Lidstrom, and that partnership stayed together through the 1997-98 season as the Red Wings successfully defended their title. Murphy had 11 goals and 52 points for Detroit that season and was a plus-35.

Murphy finished his career with the Red Wings and now works for the organization as a television analyst. He went into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004. His 1,216 points are the fifth-most by a defenseman in NHL history.

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.