Larry Murphy won multiple Stanley Cups skating on the defense of the Detroit Red Wings. While he thinks that moment is still far off for the current editon of the club, if we’re talking about the 2023-24 Red Wings and the playoffs, Murphy’s advice is to go right ahead and have that conversation.
It’s no different from the discussions currently going on among members of the franchise.
An analyst for Red Wings broadcasts on Bally Sports Detroit, Murphy said as much during a recent interview with the NHL Network.
“I think they’re legitimate in the playoff discussion,” Murphy said. However, he was quick to add a caveat that it won’t be an easy mission to achieve.
“Unfortunately, the East is very competitive, so they could have an even better season next year and still come up short,” Murphy explained, while nodding in approval regarding the work of Detroit GM Steve Yzerman.
“Yzerman has done a tremendous job,” Murphy said. “This is the second year in a row where he’s made impact. We’re gonna see five or six new guys in the lineup, and definite upgrades to this team.
“He’s opened the bank vault and they’ve taken on more salary, but having said that, the contracts have all been structured smartly. There’s no contract that’s gonna back and bite him down the road.
“The team is progressing. This year, I know if they don’t make the playoffs, they’re gonna be very disappointed.”
Murphy A Champion Again
A Cup winner with the Red Wings in 1996-97 and 1997-98, as well as with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1990-91 and 1991-92, Murphy is again a champion. He coached the title-winning team in the 3Ice three-on-three hockey league.
“We’ve taken the best part of the NHL, three-on-three overtime, and expanded it into a league,” Murphy said of the two-year old 3Ice loop.
“I love it because it’s fast paced. It’s basically puck control. That’s the way I loved playing the game. I always wanted puck control.
“It’s relentless in terms of the tempo. Yeah it’s exciting. It’s run and gun hockey. But still you rely on good, strong fundamentals in order to win.”
A couple of names on the 3Ice rosters who’d be familiar to Red Wings fans are Brandon Hawkins and former NHLer T.J. Hensick. Both were playing last season with the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye.