"It was frustration over and over to watch people get signed and offered(contracts) when we knew Cory was more talented than them. There was nothing he could do to make himself grow 3 to 4 inches or add 20 to 25 pounds. … If he was bigger, he wouldn't be as good." -- Natalie MurphyCory Murphy will be playing in front of the paying public in his hometown for probably the first time since his Central Junior Hockey League days when the Kanata native's Florida Panthers play the Senators at Scotiabank Place today. It's was good to have Natalie Murphy provide context about how frustrating it was for her and Cory to wait so long for this opportunity. Even in 2007, the players' spouses, who are a big part of the support network a pro athletes need a a very high-stress job, are still often viewed as being there to be seen and not heard.
It's a terrific story for the Murphys: Cory Murphy, at 29, getting a NHL shot after never being drafted and playing seven seasons in Europe. He's (one of many) tied for third in scoring by a defenceman. They're not all trophy wives.
Worth noting: Murphy's player page at ESPN.com lists him at 5-foot-10, as he has been for most of his career. The Sun-Sentinel lists him at 5-foot-8 3/4. Isn't it odd how a player's listed height sometimes shrinks an inch after he signs a NHL contract?
Incidentally, teams looking for underappreciated talent probably should stake out the arena at Colgate University. Murphy and the Anaheim Ducks centre Andy McDonald, one of the NHL's best smaller men, were teammates there for three seasons.
Cory Murphy relishing opportunity with Florida Panthers (Steve Gorten, South Florida Sun-Sentinel; via illegalcurve)