The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/23/13 at 03:03 AM ET
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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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.