Bruins: Rob Murray

MONTREAL – The Boston Bruins announced that the organization will not renew the contract of Providence Bruins head coach Rob Murray.

Murray was hired as the P-Bruins coach on Aug. 21, 2008 after five seasons as an assistant captain for the team. As a head coach he posted a 117-103-20 record.

“I have known Rob for a long time because I’ve been a teammate of his as well, as a player and I know he’s very passionate, hardworking guy,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “And he puts everything into his work and I have always liked his approach to the game and coaching. So to me he’s been very helpful in working with our guys down there and certainly I liked working with him.”

Murray has been offered a scouting position with the Bruins.

“The Bruins organization has been tremendous to me,” he said. “Working closely with [Bruins assistant GM] Don Sweeney has been great. We’ve grown a good friendship and a good working relationship. He’s always been very supportive. The Bruins have been great and it was a good situation in Providence.”

Murray enjoyed a 16-year playing career in both the AHL and NHL. After playing 1,018 games in the American League, he decided to get into coaching. Former Bruins GM Mike O’Connell hired Murray at the urging of scout Sean Coady. Murray first served as Scott Gordon’s assistant in Providence.

“Realistically, you come out of playing and the first or second year out, in the back of your mind you think you can still play,” Murray said. “You never want to give up the dream. The first couple of years [being an assistant coach] sometimes I wanted to jump right on the ice and get the job done for the guys, opposed to coaching.”

Murray credits Gordon for helping him make the transition from playing to coaching.

“He led me the right way and I appreciate all the work and all the help he gave me through the years, especially never coaching before,” Murray said. “I always had in my thought process I wanted to coach, but until you really do it, you don’t know what you’re in for. He helped me bridge that cap between playing and coaching.”

After Gordon was named head coach for the New York Islanders, Murray was named head coach in Providence after five seasons as an assistant.

“I was confident in my ability to do it and I still am,” he said. “I have no regrets with the way I coached and how it worked out. It’s unfortunate it’s come to an end at this point.”

The Bruins organization knows Murray is a valuable asset and character guy, so he’s been asked to stay on as a scout. But coaching remains a passion and a goal for him.

“It’s something that I want to continue to do,” he said. “Where and when I’m not sure. It’s something I definitely want to continue to do and I have the utmost confidence in my ability to do it. I would like to keep coaching and hopefully something comes along.”

While behind the bench in Providence, Murray helped develop many of the current Bruins players, including defenseman Johnny Boychuk.

“He’s a great coach,” said Boychuk. “He develops guys well, and does a good job to push guys and try to get them to the next level.”

Bruins' Kampfer named AHL All-Star

January, 11, 2011
BOSTON -- Tim Thomas and Zdeno Chara weren’t the only Bruins players to be named All-Stars on Tuesday.

While Boston’s goaltender and captain will be heading to Raleigh, N.C., for the NHL All-Star game on Jan. 30, rookie defenseman Steven Kampfer was named an AHL All-Star on Tuesday.

Kamper, who has played 15 games for the Bruins since his recall from Providence on Dec. 8, was informed of his AHL nomination by P-Bruins coach Rob Murray.

“It’s exciting to be named to the All-Star game for the AHL,” said Kampfer. “It’s exciting, but obviously you want to stay here and hope that you’re up here during that week.

“If you’re going to miss an All-Star game, I think that’s the only one you want to miss because you’re [in the NHL]. At the same time, it’s an honor being named and I’m happy for every other guy who was named as well.”

It’s a safe bet Kampfer will remain in Boston and the AHL will have to find a replacement for him.

Hutchinson shows off his skills

September, 16, 2010
BOSTON -- Boston Bruins prospect Michael Hutchinson knows he’s auditioning for a goaltending job with the team's AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins.

Prior to Thursday night's game, Hutchinson said he did not want to return to junior hockey and realized this was an opportunity to take the next step in his development. He responded to the challenge, making 33 saves to help the Bruins to a 2-1 overtime victory in the second of a two rookie games between the teams Thursday at TD Garden.

“Hutch was good,” said Providence Bruins coach Rob Murray. “I thought it was a poor goal, the one he did let in. I don’t know if he lost it or he just misplayed it. After that he was lights out. I thought he played excellent. Both our goalies performed well these last two nights. Peter [Chiarelli] was saying Hutch is a guy who could win a game by himself, and he didn’t come too far from that tonight [Thursday] because he made some excellent saves. Hutch really stood in there tall.”

The Bruins originally drafted the 20-year-old netminder in the third round (77th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Hutchinson, 6-foot-3, 192-pounds, has played the past three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League.

Hutchinson was able to showcase his skills Thursday, playing the entire game.

“It was huge; I had not played a game since last April -- it’s been a while,” Hutchinson said. “Getting a full 60 minutes in, remembering how long a 60-minute game is, it really didn’t feel that long.”

After Bruins goaltenders Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask, Boston has four other goalies in camp battling for the two spots in Providence. Veteran Nolan Schaefer has a leg up on the other three -- Hutchinson, Adam Courchaine and Matt Dalton.

“For [the Providence Bruins’] second goalie, there’s going to be a tremendous competition,” Chiarelli said.

Kampfer already showing leadership qualities

September, 16, 2010
BOSTON -- It didn’t take long for Providence Bruins head coach Rob Murray to learn what type of leader and player Steve Kampfer is on and off the ice.

Kampfer, 21, stepped off the collegiate ice for the University of Michigan last spring and quickly made the transition to professional hockey when he played a total of six games for Boston’s AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins.

The Anaheim Ducks originally selected the defenseman in the fourth round (93rd overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. The Bruins acquired Kampfer in a trade last March in exchange for a conditional draft pick, and once his college career ended, he was sent to the P-Bruins.

With Bruins brass looking on last April 2 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, the same game fellow prospect Joe Colborne and Max Sauve also made their professional debuts, it was clear Kampfer stood out.

“Steve’s a guy, realistically, when he came to us last year we really felt he was essentially pro-ready,” Murray said. “He played like it and played with a confidence that I really admire, really like about him. He’s one of these guys you just know wants to be a hockey player. He does what he has to do to have success with it, too.”

“We’re looking for big things out of him and I know the organization is really happy with him,” added Murray. “As far as his timeline to make it to the NHL, or get NHL games, who knows? That’s kind of up in the air, but to me and to the organization, I feel like, even though it’s limited that we have seen him, he’s definitely on the right track.”

Kampfer, an offensive-minded defenseman, enters camp this fall knowing exactly what to expect. He said he believes it was his brief stint in Providence last season that helped him focus on his offseason workouts in preparation for camp.

“Going out and getting my feet wet was awesome,” he said. “Going to Providence and playing those six games really helped. I’m just trying to get ready for this year and make a push out of camp.”

Kampfer spent the summer working out with current Bruins defenseman -- and fellow Wolverine -- Matt Hunwick, and the two pushed each other.

“You’re used to playing against small men in college and you’re not used to playing against 28- and 29-year-old guys who do this for a living,” Kampfer said. “That was a big adjustment. Guys are a lot stronger. Everybody is positionally sound and that’s something I had to work on. I went home and worked on my defensive-zone play over the summer and I’ve carried it over into this camp.”

Kampfer wore the ‘C’ on his sweater for the Bruins rookies on Wednesday, something he takes great pride in.

“It was an honor. It was great wearing it and hopefully I’ll get it again,” he said.

He’s also focused on what his goal is for the 2010-2011 season.

“Right now I just want to get an invite to main camp,” Kampfer said. “Obviously you want to make a push for the team, that’s why you’re here. If that’s not the case, you go down to Providence, have a heck of a year and hope you get called up during the season.”

Hutchinson: 'My goal is not to be back in juniors'

September, 16, 2010
BOSTON -- In the second of two rookie games between the Boston Bruins and the New York Islanders, Michael Hutchinson will be in net for the Black and Gold tonight at TD Garden.

“I’m excited,” he said. “This is something you look forward to. It’s been a long wait, so I can’t wait to start the game.”

The Bruins originally drafted the 20-year-old netminder in the third round (77th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Hutchinson, 6-foot-3, 192 pounds, has played the last three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League.

After this morning’s game-day skate, it was clear he was excited to be starting tonight’s game.

“You try not to think about it. You try to think of it as just another game,” Hutchinson said. “It’s the start of the season and obviously there will be a couple of plays you’ll want to have back, or use it as a teaching tool. You need to keep everything in perspective.”

“It’s more anticipation than nerves. I just cant’ wait to get out there and get the first shot and after that everything seems to settle down.”

Hutchinson watched Wednesday’s game from the ninth floor and said it was a good learning tool to prepare for action tonight.

Even though Hutchinson is focused on tonight’s game, his main goal is to earn a spot in the AHL this season for the Providence Bruins.

“My goal is not to be back in junior hockey,” he said. “Hopefully tonight I can play well and show the coaching staff I’m ready to make this step to the next level.”

Colborne won't play tonight

September, 16, 2010
BOSTON -- Bruins prospect Joe Colborne returned to the hospital this morning to be examined after he suffered what was first thought to be a broken nose during Wednesday’s rookie game against the New York Islanders at TD Garden.

Providence Bruins coach Rob Murray, who is behind the bench for rookie games, said Colborne was doing better this morning.

“Joe’s a little more positive from what it looked liked last night,” Murray said. “He’s feeling good. At first they thought he broke his nose, but he might not have. I’m not positive on that one. Overall, it’s looking better than it did last night. It’s not as bad as everyone thought.”

After Wednesday’s game, Colborne told Murray he wanted to play tonight.

“He was lucid enough to say, ‘I’m OK to go’ but obviously it looked bad on the ice,” Murray said. “He’ll be OK.”

The 20-year-old forward is one of the top prospects in the Bruins organization and was hit in the face with a teammate's stick in the third period and required stitches to his upper lip and also chipped a tooth. Colborne will not play in tonight’s rookie game.