I’ve written 21 birthday tributes for Canes and Checkers players since starting the tradition in May of 2011. Therefore, I have waited awhile to write this little ditty on my favorite goalie, Mr. Michael Murphy. It isn’t difficult to see why the goaltender is a fan favorite. Not only is he stellar in the crease, but he is active in the community and courteous to the fans. His wonderful contributions earned him the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award in 2011.
Murphy was born on this day in 1989 in Kingston, Ontario. He was drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2008 and signed a three-year entry-level contract on March 18, 2009. Prior to joining the Albany River Rats, Murphy completed four successful seasons in the OHL with the Belleville Bulls. Mike earned career regular-season franchise records for wins (85), shutouts (8), goals-against average (2.42) and save percentage (.929), in addition to holding the franchise record for most playoff wins (24). He was the first goalie to win the OHL Goaltender of the Year award in consecutive seasons in 2007-08 and 2008-09. Mike was an OHL First Team All-Star and Bulls’ MVP in those seasons as well. Wait…there’s more…the 23 year old was named the Goaltender of the Year for the entire Canadian Hockey League in 2008-09. Those are some awe-inspiring accolades right there.
During the 2009 season, Murph claimed a 10-9-0 record with a 2.81 goals against average and a .924 save percentage for Albany. The team relocated to Charlotte in 2010 where the netminder posted a 21-11-3 record with a 2.53 goals against average and a .919 save percentage. He greatly assisted Charlotte in reaching the conference finals, going 7-7 with a 2.57 goals-against average in 14 Calder Cup Playoff games.
He relieved Canes’ goalie, Cam Ward, twice this season and stopped all 9 shots. We won’t talk about the bizarre, history-making loss attached to his NHL record. Murphy has guarded the crease 26 times for the Checkers this year and has gone 13-10-1 with a .913 save percentage.
The birthday boy is clearly deserving of some fabulous presents. So here it is kiddies, the moment you have waiting for…the amazing imaginary gifts. My magic Cardiac Cane wand needs a serious recharge after this one.
- A season concluding trip to the Bahamas for a two-week vacation with anyone he wishes to invite. Of course, endless drinks and grub will be included.
- $100,000 annual grant to his Murphy’s Pros in the Crease goalie school program.
- A Dalmatian puppy from a local rescue group and a full time dog nanny that looks like Jessica Alba to train and care for the furry baby 24/7.
- His golf clubs are now blessed with the power and accuracy of Steve Stricker. Fore!
- Hockey will go on brief hiatus so he can be the next Bachelor…and every hussy that tries to deceive him shall be cursed with a hunchback and banana boobs.
- A dual cleaning service: A maid to assist with everything from laundry to dishes and a monthly car detail service to clean up that mess of a vehicle.
- A new 4G phone that can actually play YouTube videos and host Words with Friends.
- So he can have his old roomie, Michal Jordan, back I am having an epic bunk bed installed in Murph’s room.
- All past and future medical bills paid in full for his good buddy, Zach “Bug” Bennett.
- A never-ending contract with the Carolina Hurricanes. Ok, ok, that was a slightly selfish gift.
- A private jet so he can see his family and friends as much as possible.
- As always, and most importantly, a career filled with deserving success, flawless health, and blissful memories.
Happy, happy birthday Murph! Thank you for your hard work and dedication. Caniacs and Checkers fans alike are blessed to have you in North Carolina!
Let’s Go Checkers! Let’s Go Canes!
*Statistics and other information via hurricanes.nhl.com