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Khan: Fox Sports Detroit fired Red Wings analyst Larry Murphy

Via RedWingsFeed, I'm stunned, absolutely stunned. Red Wings fans may have made fun of Larry Murphy for his dry delivery and space goggles, but Murphy's views and hockey expertise were greatly appreciated, and his frankness while offering analysis during Fox Sports Detroit's Red Wings broadcasts was very much so good to hear in good times and bad. According to MLive's Ansar Khan, however, the belovedly stiff Murphy's been fired by Fox Sports Detroit:

“I was shocked, didn't see it coming,'' Murphy told MLive.com. “They said they just needed a change, ratings weren't what they were. That was basically it (for an explanation). I'm still trying to figure it out.''

[Fox Sports Detroit VP and general manager Greg] Hammaren did not return a call from MLive.com seeking comment.

Murphy said he was scheduled to work the studio for the game at Calgary last Wednesday when he got a call “out of the blue'' from Hammaren the day before telling him he was terminated. He also had been slated to work in the broadcast booth during the four-game road trip that started Friday in Anaheim. But now Mickey Redmond is on the trip.

It is unclear why FSD made the change in the middle of the season instead of just declining to renew Murphy's contract after the year. Murphy said the timing also surprises him.

Murphy, 52, started working part-time as a color analyst alongside play-by-play announcer Ken Daniels in 2002-03, a couple of years after he retired following a Hall-of-Fame career in which he played 21 NHL seasons as a defenseman, including four-plus for the Red Wings. He began by filling in on some road trips for Redmond, whose travel was reduced because of Celiac Disease and the difficulty finding gluten-free meals on the road for an extended time.

Murphy's workload increased over the years. He worked full-time the past three seasons, either in the booth, between the benches or in the studio.

“It's disappointing,'' Murphy said. “I really enjoyed the job, working for Fox and covering the Detroit Red Wings. “I'm going to miss it.''

Murphy tells Khan that he'd like to continue working in broadcasting, but he doesn't want to leave the Metro Detroit area--where he's lived since retiring in 1999--to do so.

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Comments

NIVO's avatar

lame. Veteran analysis is always good to hear instead of coming from little weasel red faced mofo(yeah Keating thats you). Whatever.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 03/23/13 at 03:20 AM ET

d ca's avatar

Blaming Murphy for FSD ratings decline is a joke:

Lockout
Tightly condensed schedule with more games on weekdays
Wings might not make playoffs
Less stars more AHL players

yup Murphy’s fault….durrrr

But it may explain why the coverage and back-stories have been lacking the past year. Can you say no budget whatsoever? I mean it has gotten to the point were the commercials are being read during the time between an icing and the next face off. They eliminate the glass and put advertising on it, etc, etc.

Have they improved the product (better cameras, more microphones, more cameramen, etc., ?—not from what I’ve seen).

I hope they don’t try to replace Murphy with Eliot as the in game analyst. How does he keep his job given this?

Well guess that means more NHL network and CBC appearances.

Posted by d ca on 03/23/13 at 03:59 AM ET

Avatar

To be fair, though, Murphy did sort of suck.  I don’t think it’s fair to blame him for any ratings decrease considering the transitional nature of the club, but it’s not exactly impossible to imagine an improvement in his role.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 03/23/13 at 05:20 AM ET

Avatar

will be weird to not hear him while watching wings games.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 03/23/13 at 07:51 AM ET

w2j2's avatar

I really like Murphy.
He is a hall-of-fame defenseman, for heaven’s sake. 
His analysis is always spot-on, and he can teach us things from the player’s perspective.
He teaches us technical details of the game that “announcers” have no idea about.
He also remains calm even when the Wings are losing.  He is always upbeat and happy.
And yet we still have to listen to John Keating, who grates on me whenever I hear his voice…  Talk about a brainless twit.  I always mute the TV when I see him.
This is really a bad decision by FSD.
The Wings should hire Murphy separate from FSD.

angry

Posted by w2j2 on 03/23/13 at 08:11 AM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

Wow. I’m going to miss Murphy. I think this is a poor decision by FSD.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 03/23/13 at 08:13 AM ET

gt500x's avatar

They’ll replace him with boobs, and no I’m not talking about Ken and Mick - I’m talking about the bouncy kind.

Posted by gt500x on 03/23/13 at 08:41 AM ET

Stevis's avatar

Boo.  Bad call.

Where can I send Murph a bouquet of hot dogs to cheer him up?

Posted by Stevis on 03/23/13 at 08:43 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

This really sucks.  Murph was great and a fan favorite.  I’m sure the ratings are off for other reasons.  I always thought Murph would replace Mickey when he retires.  Geez, I hope they’re not going to put Darren Elliot in there - he is so lackluster he puts me to sleep.  And please, no squeaky-voiced Shannon. 

 

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 03/23/13 at 09:04 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

marcotte - thanks for that link.  I just went there and signed.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 03/23/13 at 09:07 AM ET

Norskirama's avatar

HUGE MISTAKE by FSD!  At least Murph knows how to play the game and had great perspective.  And even though Eliot was also a player he ain’t no hall of famer.

Posted by Norskirama from Lincoln, Nebraska on 03/23/13 at 09:36 AM ET

OnlyWings's avatar

Being from Canada I don’t see Fox or care much about them but there are others on the Wings broadcast that are brutal.  Maybe keep real hockey involved with telecasts, Murph, Redmond etc??? Not Eliot and Keating is brutal.

I watch other telecasts and we all know about Pierre, Ferraro, etc

Has to be more to this story, IMO!

Posted by OnlyWings on 03/23/13 at 09:37 AM ET

cigar_nurse's avatar

What is the rest of the story? Being a transplant, I don’t get to see as much as you locals do. Is it drinking that we all make fun about or is it some sort of nervous tick that he has. I am serious about this . He does give a great perspective from a hall of fame d-man’s point of view.

Posted by cigar_nurse from Greenville South Cakalakee on 03/23/13 at 10:22 AM ET

SandysWingingit's avatar

Thanks, Marcotte. Hope the petition gets the attention of FSD. What could they be thinking? Please don’t let it be some clown thinking a female perspective will bring a bigger rating…that seems to be a trend lately. Ugh!

Posted by SandysWingingit on 03/23/13 at 10:31 AM ET

NIVO's avatar

I signed that petition, probably wont do much good but its my voice being heard atleast in some form.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 03/23/13 at 10:46 AM ET

Guilherme's avatar

Any of you believing the ratings story is true? No way FSD considers the drop in ratings is fault of the 3rd man in their coverage depth chart.

He’s the one who talked about the ratings, do you really think that he’s tell the actual reason he got fired?

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 03/23/13 at 10:53 AM ET

topshelf14's avatar

petition? your joking right, larry was terrible.

Posted by topshelf14 from Detroit, MI on 03/23/13 at 11:02 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) , not that it will make a difference. 

If they keep Keating, who is just horrible and asks the most irritating and stupid questions of players at intermission, and keep that guy Darren who already is so stiff and unwatchable he must have assumed room temperature years ago, then there will be no logical explanation.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 03/23/13 at 11:10 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

Crazy shot in the dark here, but I wonder if this to make room for another recent retiree that the Wings want to keep on the pay-roll and that wants to try their hand at broadcasting, like Malts, Cheli, or Mac (who has done some studio work)? 


Hey, they guys I just listed sound like menu items…

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 03/23/13 at 12:00 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Someone else made a great point of FSD management:

They fired Ernie Harwell in 1998 over low ratings too.

Posted by d ca on 03/23/13 at 01:58 PM ET

henrymalredo's avatar

Murphy’s a nice guy and had a great career, but he was pretty lousy at his job.  As good of a player and as knowledgable as he may be, he just had very lackluster media skills and looked awkward in front of the camera.  Though I do suspect there must be more to this then just low ratings.

Posted by henrymalredo from Lansing on 03/23/13 at 02:16 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

If they want to blame Murphy for their ratings, they’re crazy. Look at their inconsistent team. At least he’s got work outside of Fox (at least he has in the past and may still have some). The weirdest part is why in the world do you fire him midseason? Either there’s some detail we’re missing, or Fox Sports really doesn’t look good.

Posted by Bugsy on 03/23/13 at 03:04 PM ET

wedge56's avatar

I feel I am in the minority and although it feels like a firing a family member, let’s face it…Murph was terrible. He was knowledgeable, but only in between periods. He couldn’t think fast enough bring that knowledge to bear in-game. I could handle him as the third guy, but pretty much despised it when he was our color guy.

Am I the only one that remembers drinking games involving taking a shot whenever Murph started a sentence and ended it with unintelligible mumbling?

Posted by wedge56 on 03/23/13 at 09:47 PM ET

13datsyukfan13's avatar

Maybe the Wings are going to bring him out of retirement? 

Me

Posted by 13datsyukfan13 from Mid Michigan on 03/24/13 at 12:25 PM ET

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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.