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He is a dedicated hockey player in perpetuity, a man who has given so much to the sport for so many years.
Charly Murray is 70 years old and a cheerful and charming boy with lots of colorful stories to tell about his life in amateur hockey.
And on top of that, the good times Charly still has a lot to offer in terms of time, experience, knowledge and a genuine love for the game, especially at the under-18, junior and college levels.
Now helping out with his hometown of Sault College Cougars – and being part of their 2019 American Collegiate Hockey Association National Championship squad – Murray has spent part of six decades in the game in both coaching and playing roles.
Known for his keen sense of talent identification and for his loyalty and promotion of the players he has recruited and signed, Murray has also played a key role in the success of several teams in the Northern Junior Hockey League. Ontario over the years.
He has worked for the Soo Thunderbirds, Soo Eagles, Blind River Beavers, Cochrane Crunch, and former Northern Michigan Black Bears and Elliot Lake Bobcats, among others.
Admittedly, there is little in the junior game with the overall player recruitment and advancement pedigree that Murray has, having helped send dozens of players to higher levels of hockey over the years, especially the ranks. American academics.
It’s worth noting that most of the coaching and scouting work Murray – who is a retired metalworker – has done over the years has been on a volunteer basis or for very little pay. And there have been many seasons where Murray would spend winter nights in cold ice rinks with pay in the form of a jacket and team hat.
“I never, never did this for the money,” said the affable Murray on a recent edition of the Hockey North Show on local radio station Eagle 95.1. “It’s always been about the kids for me… and always will be.”
With countless friendships and contacts made over the years, Murray remains something of a storytelling and joke icon in Northern Ontario and Northern Michigan. Teams revolve around him because of his knowledge and insight – but it’s often Murray himself who contacts teams about players that range from exceptional to those who can fly under the radar.
“I think any young man who wants to play and has a passion for the game at least deserves an opportunity to be watched by a coach or a team,” Murray said firmly. “Too many teams only want to hear from star players.”
Showing few signs of slowing down with age, Murray – who is affectionately known by his hockey friends as the ‘old goat’ – stays in touch with the game either in person or by searching for players and teams via television and the video.
Strong as a nail and with a vivid memory, Murray said he enjoyed working with manager Mark Hebert and head coach Mike Hall and the staff of the Sault College men’s team. He also follows the NOJHL and Superior International Jr. Hockey League closely – and it feels like he would be open to working for a junior team while retaining his role at Sault College.
Married to his wife Debbie for 50 years and father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Murray enjoys talking about his family.
“I don’t know how or why Debbie put up with me all these years,” Murray likes to say, with his characteristic chuckle. “I guess she just got used to me being there.”
Always with the exception of a phone call or message to discuss hockey – whether in the past or in the present – Murray remains a scout for old school values who is very much in tune with today’s game.
“I have been in and around hockey my entire life and I have no intention of giving up my involvement,” noted Murray. “Debbie has always been a supporter of what I do… She knows how passionate I am about the game, the kids and the good people who come into it. “