Friday, November 7, 2008

The Ghost of Muzz

First off, let me just state again, that I was always a huge supporter of Glen Murray. Even as his goal scoring touch evaporated over the last couple years, I steadfastly defended him and all of his "intangibles". I knew he would be bought out this summer, and I agreed it made sense. However, I took no joy in seeing his tenure in Boston, and most likely his career, end that way. He was a valuable player for Boston on and off the ice. When his legs went, he compensated by giving more effort. I will never bad mouth Glen Murray, the hockey player and teammate. He was a fine representative of the Boston Bruins for many years. That being said.....I can't begin to express my dismay upon hearing the news that he has filed a grievance against the Bruins through the NHLPA. Muzz contends that Chiarelli bought him out "illegally", as he had an ankle injury which precluded him from playing. Under terms of the CBA, you can not buy out injured players. Now, Boston could potentially have to add Muzz's salary back onto the books. This is a potentially crushing blow to a team that is already near the cap ceiling. Instead of Chilly having room under the cap for in season acquisitions, as has been his stated goal all along, he may have to make cuts/demotions to get his club just under the limit. Nobody denies that Muzz WAS hurt much of last season, as he had off season ankle surgery. However, the one thing that may come back to haunt him is, he was looking for employment after he got bought out. And as part of his lobbying for a contract, he was telling teams he was healthy and ready to play. As it became clear he wouldn't get an offer, he "shut down his skating" regimen and opted for a second surgery. So, who are we to believe? The Glen Murray that today claims he was too hurt to play, which means he was too hurt to buy out? Or the Glen Murray that went around the league telling anyone who would listen that he was in tip top shape and ready for another NHL grind? We may never know who's idea this grievance was, his or his agents (one last payday from the old workhorse?). But it smacks, to me, of smallness and a bitterness that he didn't evidence in the days immediately following the buy out. Presumably, he figured he'd recoup that money and sign with another NHL club, so the buy out was just going to be a change of address, not a change of life. I understand hockey is a business. I also understand that Murray was bought out in accordance with the CBA that Murray and his Players Association ratified. To go back now, and claim injury after the fact is an embarrassment. It tarnishes his reputation, even to a guy like me that has spent years defending him. I always looked at Muzz as a "class act". Boy, do I have to re-think that opinion now. Now he looks like just another bitter old athlete that can't accept that his career is over, and thinks that somebody "owes him" something. Murray has made more money over his career than most of us could ever dream of making in a life time. He's had glory, fame and all the trappings of a pro athlete's life. And now he is whining about not getting the full $4.15M he would have earned this year (and "earned" is stretching it). I don't know, but if someone gave me the option of making $2.8M over two years for doing NOTHING but enjoying all the millions I've already made, or $4.15M for taking sticks to the face and pucks off my feet for another year, I don't think the first option would look so bad. How he, in good conscience, can make this claim, knowing full well that it will probably mean at least one younger player will lose his job because of it, not to mention the team's chances for success this season will take a hit, is beyond selfish. It's spiteful, rude and pathetic. Like I said, I'll never bad mouth Glen Murray the player. But Glen Murray the former player is starting to look a lot like a punk.


  1. Take him back and immediately put him LTIR... that would take his cap space off the books for this year and next. If anything, it would prove beneficial to Chia and the Bruins since we would now have a legitimate amount of cap space available (~3M)

  2. I agree with everything you say. But I don't harbor any ill will towards Glen. He is just playing the game the way the CBA is set up by the NHL and Players Association. I don't think he is doing this to "stick it" to the B's. He is simply utilizing all of his options. It is unfortunate that it may affect some of the current B's but if I didn't get picked up by any teams and had all this money on the table, I would explore all financial options available to me as well.

    Putting him on LTIR sounds like a good option..