TOP 100 OILERS: REM MURRAY (61)

Every team needs glue guys, and Raymond Murray was as sticky as a role player can be during the two tours of duty he did with the Edmonton Oilers. Whether it meant moving up and down the line-up and filling in here or there or just keeping the guys in the room loose with his class clown act and that braying guffaw of his, Murray was your man.

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Rem The Gem, a handle his mother gave him as a child and one that sticks with him even today in his post-playing career as a realtor, was an absolute beauty, and he was a terrific player – a versatile forward who had the ability to check opposing forwards to a standstill and chip in offensively when the situation required it. He was one of those players coaches need, teammates know the true value of and fans and media often overlook.

Rem Murray

Left Wing

Born Oct 9 1972 — Stratford, ONT 

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Height 6.02 — Weight 195 [188 cm/88 kg]

Drafted by Los Angeles Kings


Round 6 #135 overall 1992 NHL Entry Draft

BY THE NUMBERS

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Season

Tm

GP

G

A

PTS

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+/-

PIM

S

S%

TOI

ATOI

1996-97

EDM

82

11

20

31

9

16

85

12.9

1997-98

EDM

61

9

9

18

-9

39

59

15.3

1998-99

EDM

78

21

18

39

4

20

116

18.1

1235

15:50

1999-00

EDM

44

9

5

14

-2

8

65

13.8

628

14:16

2000-01

EDM

82

15

21

36

5

24

122

12.3

1259

15:21

2001-02

TOT

80

8

19

27

-4

18

98

8.2

1172

14:39

2001-02

EDM

69

7

17

24

5

14

84

8.3

998

14:27

2001-02

NYR

11

1

2

3

-9

4

14

7.1

174

15:51

2002-03

TOT

85

12

19

31

-2

22

143

8.4

1416

16:40

2002-03

NYR

32

6

6

12

-3

4

62

9.7

501

15:39

2002-03

NSH

53

6

13

19

1

18

81

7.4

915

17:16

2003-04

NSH

39

8

9

17

-1

12

58

13.8

648

16:37

2005-06

EDM

9

1

1

2

1

2

6

16.7

70

7:49

7 yrs

EDM

425

73

91

164

13

123

537

13.6

4189

14:51

2 yrs

NSH

92

14

22

36

0

30

139

10.1

1563

16:00

2 yrs

NYR

43

7

8

15

-12

8

76

9.2

675

15:42

Career

560

94

121

215

1

161

752

12.5

6428

15:25

NOTABLE

After four years with the Michigan State Spartans and another with the Cape Breton Oilers, one in which he put up 90 points, Murray didn’t even make it to Edmonton until he was 24. Despite his rather prolific season on the Cape, Murray’s bread and butter was his defensive play and versatility.

Murray could play centre or on the wing and he did both in stints under coaches Ron Low, Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish. He was particularly effective on a checking line with Todd Marchant and Mike Grier. His 21 goals and 39 points in 1998-99 was a career high.

In March of 2002, Murray was traded with Tom Poti to the New York Rangers for Mike York and a draft pick that became Ivan Koltsov. That wouldn’t be the last Edmonton fans saw of Rem the Gem, however, as he’d make a rather dramatic return to the Oilers during their run to the Stanley Cup final in 2006.

THE STORY

In 2004, while playing for the Nashville Predators, Murray was diagnosed with a career-threatening condition known as cervical dystonia – it was a contraction of the neck muscles that forced Murray’s chin toward his left shoulder. Murray stopped playing hockey and looked for a cure.

“I remember when it was really brutal,” Murray said. “There were times when I thought, ‘There’s no way I can come back from this.’ I just wanted to be able to function normally, to play with my kids without being in pain.”

It turned out that injections of Botox eased the condition – Murray even managed to crack wise about the treatment making him look younger – and he improved to the point where he got back on the blades and made a return to pro hockey with the Houston Aeros of the AHL in 2005-06.

In March of 2006 in one of the feel-good stories of the year, the Oilers signed Murray as a free agent, just in time for their Cup run. After getting into nine regular season games, Murray chipped in with four assists in 24 playoff games. It was a stirring and unforgettable encore for Rem the Gem.

This series will look at the top 100 Edmonton Oilers from the NHL era 1979-80 to 2014-15, starting with 100 and working up. 


Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260.

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