Saturday, August 30, 2014

Joe Murphy Autograph Card

I'm kind of surprised I hadn't featured a card from this set yet, considering my Oilers Numbers Project, but here's who slots nicely for #8, Joe Murphy:
I'd alluded to this card earlier this week, as I had doubles of it and traded one away to the person I'd split a box with for this Warren Young card. It's from Upper Deck's 2013-14 Edmonton Oilers Collection, and is #FI-JM of the Franchise Ink sub-set.

Joe Murphy was the first-overall pick of the 1986 draft, ahead of Jimmy Carson (2nd), Zarley Zalapski (4th), Vincent Damphousse (6th), Brian Leetch (9th), Craig Janney (13th), Adam Graves (22nd), Teppo Numminen (29th), Jyrki Lumme (57th), Rob Brown (67th) and Ron Tugnutt (81st). In retrospect, apart from Leetch who was a steal in ninth, any of these players could have been chosen at any position in the top 10. Ironically, half of them would up playing for the Edmonton Oilers.

Usually, a first-overall pick should be a career impact player, or at the very least for a good chunk of it; while Murphy was no Sidney Crosby, he did have a few high-caliber seasons. His career-high for goals (35) and points (82) came with the Oilers in 1991-92, and the line he formed with Martin Gélinas and Graves (who like Murphy had been a Detroit Red Wings draft pick converted from the left wing to the right) was imperative to Edmonton winning its fifth Stanley Cup in 1990 - the lone one without Wayne Gretzky. He also had a 62-point season with the Oilers in 1990-91.

His second-best season goals-wise came following his stint in Edmonton, when he was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks: he scored 31 with the Hawks in 1993-94. All told, he had seven 20-goal seasons, and four 50-point seasons, which is fairly decent.

He finished his career with 233 goals, 295 assists and 528 points in 779 NHL games, and an additional 34 goals and 77 points in 120 playoff games. His best point-per-game production was with the Oilers and Hawks, but he also spent time with the Wings, St. Louis Blues, San Jose Sharks, Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals (though it seems I remember him playing for neither, save maybe the Sharks).

He has played for Team Canada twice, at the 1986 World Juniors (silver medal, finished second in scoring with 14 points in 7 games) and with the National Team in 1985, with 6 points in 8 games.

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