Today, we talk with former Penguins defenseman Larry Murphy.
Murphy and fellow defenseman Peter Taglianetti came to the Penguins Dec. 11, 1990 in a trade which sent Chris Dahlquist and Jim Johnson to the Minnesota North Stars. Murphy, an offensive defenseman by trade, joined a team meant for talents and scored 28 points in 44 regular season games for the Penguins in 1990-91.
In the postseason, Murphy ended up being the team's fourth-leading scorer after he scored 23 points in 23 games. During the Stanley Cup final, Murphy recorded 10 points in six games.
Murphy ended up spending parts of five seasons with the Penguins and was part of the franchise's second Stanley Cup title in 1992. After retiring as a player in 2001, Murphy became a broadcaster with the Detroit Red Wings and NHL Network. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004.
On the trade from Minnesota:
"I was well aware of how talented this team was and I was well aware of the opportunity that presented itself. So I was pretty excited about coming here. Just the style of hockey the Penguins played. And of course it worked out better than I could have hoped. But I was extremely pleased (with) the opportunity to play with the level of talent here."
On the Stanley Cup experience of Bryan Trottier and Joe Mullen:
"You're glad you have those guys and it does help you without a doubt. They had been there before. And when you get to the Cup finals, that's a whole different beast. Guys leaned on them, for sure. That was definitely an asset for this team. I think the way they carried themselves by example was help too. How they were able to maintain composure. You could see these guys' confidence and I think it rubbed off an every body."
On Mario Lemieux's return from offseason back surgery:
"Unfortunately he dealt with health and injury issues, but when you had him, the team was that much better. You definitely knew your chances were better at winning. "
On the far more famous trade which sent John Cullen, Jeff Parker and Zarley Zalapski to the Hartford Whalers in exchange for Ron Francis, Grant Jennings and Ulf Samuelsson:
"It brought an element to our team, those guys. I think we thought we were better positioned for sure. It's all about winning. On a personal side, you hate to see guy go. It's horrible. But the fact that Craig Patrick was making the team better, that's what it's all about."
On winning the Patrick Division title, the first division title in franchise history, with a 7-4 win at Detroit, March 27:
"I think the most important thing as how well we were playing and that was a result of it. The big picture was everybody was after. It was nice. That's how I looked at it. I wanted the Cup."
Was there a point where you knew this was a legit run at the Stanley Cup:
"We didn't think we were in at any point over our heads. We knew we could win every series. We had confidence The team was playing better. We were coming on. That was the key. "
On Kevin Stevens' prediction the Penguins would win the Wales Conference Final against the Bruins despite trailing the series, 2-0:
"I don't remember him making that prediciton, but to tell you the truth I'm not suprised because that's the way Artie was. Wore his heart on his sleeve. Extremely competitive. Wanted it as bad anybody. And that statement was a result of that. That was Artie and that was just the way he played. It worked out great. "
On the Cup-clinching 8-0 win at Minnesota, May 25, 1991:
"I tell you, it was exciting beating a team I played for. I don't remember how much we were up in the second period, but I was never so excited in my life. I couldn't even sit still that second intermission. We were comfortably in the lead. How nervous and excited. I felt like a little kid I couldn't even sit still."
(Photos: Penguins Hockey Cards and eBay)