Friday, January 25, 2013

4 Gord Murphy Autographed Cards

It's a long-belated post, because while I sent Gord Murphy these four cards on April 11th, 2012, he not only sent them back, signed in black sharpie, on May 16th, but also signed an insert card, which I have misplaced. I wanted to write about all the items at once, but now I'm afraid it might take forever...

Murphy is one of those relatively unlucky players that defied expectations (he was a 9th-round pick, 189th overall) to become the top offensive defenseman of three different teams, yet will never gain support for the Hall Of Fame, while similar players (Larry Murphy, for one) have been elected.

The Philadelphia Flyers, who drafted him, were the first beneficiaries of his talent, and he was good for some 40 points per season while he was there, but they traded him to the Boston Bruins midway through the 1991-92 season, essentially for Garry Galley, another offensive defenseman.

These cards were from that period, first in the home uniform, from Score's 1992-93 Score (French Canadian Version), card #29 in the set - notice some corners are dented; those are the risks of sending through the mail:
Also, the away (black) jersey the Bruins wore for most of my youth, from Pro Set's 1992-93 Parkhurst (French Canadian Version), card #227 in the series:
As the 1992-93 season brought injuries into the mix, Murphy was left unprotected for the expansion draft, and swiftly chosen by the Florida Panthers, with whom he spent 6 seasons, including a Cup run in 1996 that ended in a 4-game sweep by the Colorado Avalanche. Of this period I sent these two cards, both of him wearing the team's white (home) uniform, first from Pinnacle Brands' 1994-95 Pinnacle set (card #141):
And also this card, #161 in the series, from Donruss' 1995-96 Donruss set:
In 1999, the Panthers traded him to the Atlanta Thrashers where he played 85 games over two seasons before going back to finish his career with the Bruins for 15 games in 2001-02.

These days, he's back in the Panthers' organization as an assistant coach, which is where I sent these cards; he's helping turn Dmitri Kulikov into a top young NHL point man.

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