Share This Page

Rugged Murray brings solid physical presence to Penguins

| Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 8:45 p.m.
Getty Images
Douglas Murray skates the puck against the Calgary Flames on March 6, 2013, at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta.

New Penguins defenseman Douglas Murray doesn't mind if fans refer to him as “Doug” or “Douglas.”

“As long as they cheer,” he said.

It's hard to believe they won't.

Murray is a no-nonsense behemoth on the ice with a history of punishing hits, his on-ice demeanor and Scottish heritage (his family moved from Scotland to Sweden in the 1700s) making him a natural if a sequel to “Braveheart” is produced.

Off the ice, he's something of a free spirit who figures to become quite popular among the team's fan base.

Murray is co-founder and managing partner of Uber Dispensing Co., which developed the “UberTap,” a hands-free, three-pronged beer keg tap.

“That story follows me along,” Murray said during his first meeting with Pittsburgh media.

“It was a long time ago. I guess it took a bit too long to get beer in college, so we invented a quicker way to get it.”

Murray is no longer significantly involved in the business, which originated while he played hockey at Cornell University.

“My entrepreneurial spirit was going,” Murray said. “I learned a lot. It was a great experience.”

Murray's entrepreneurial pursuit wasn't the only time he has made a name for himself away from hockey.

He found his way into tabloids last year when he was spotted numerous times with Elin Nordegren, Tiger Woods's ex-wife.

Murray, of course, was not acquired because of his personal life or inventions but rather because of his ability to provide the Penguins with a physical presence on the blue line.

A generation ago, the Penguins employed Ulf Samuelsson, a Swedish defenseman who was among the most rugged players of his time.

Samuelsson became a cult hero while helping the Penguins win two Stanley Cups. Murray, 33, grew up emulating Samuelsson.

“For sure,” Murray said. “I definitely saw Ulfie as a kid playing over there. The ole' Robo Cop. I definitely enjoyed his style of play.”

Murray is hoping Penguins fans approve of his style of play, which, by his own description, showcases a nasty edge.

“I try to be physical,” Murray said. “That's definitely my strength. I hope I can keep my emotions in check here early so I don't try to run around and get out of position. That's one thing I've improved on. I bring physical play. If needed, I'll stand up for my teammates.”

Murray won't officially be received by Penguins fans until Thursday night when he faces Winnipeg at Consol Energy Center, but he already has a positive impression of his new team and city.

“All the people I've met so far have been really nice, really supportive,” Murray said. “I couldn't ask for anything more. You take it as a compliment when somebody trades for you.”

Murray isn't afraid of throwing off chemistry that has developed during the Penguins' 13-game winning streak.

“It's a good mood in the locker room,” he said. “It's a lot tougher going to a place with a 13-game losing streak.”

Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jyohe@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JoshYohe_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.