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Former coach Terry Murray: Kings could be team to reckon with

January 11, 2012 |  7:19 pm

Former Kings Coach Terry Murray, who was dismissed and replaced by Darryl Sutter last month, granted his first post-firing interview Wednesday.

He didn’t say anything inflammatory or even remotely controversial but acknowledged his disappointment over being let go. He also acknowledged that the power play’s struggles cost the team some games — and perhaps cost him his job. Here’s a link to a transcript that appears on the Kings’ website.

Murray did an excellent job installing a defensive foundation that remains the Kings’ best asset, but he took them as far as he could take them — and that wasn’t as far as General Manager Dean Lombardi thought they could go.

The team was stale offensively and had stalled. And though it isn’t always fair, sometimes players need to hear a new voice and be challenged in different ways. Sutter is allowing players to be more aggressive and pushing a more up-tempo game, and they seem to have responded.

They’re not scoring in great bunches — and might never do that, even if Lombardi makes a big move before the Feb. 27 trade deadline — but they did earn points in each of Sutter’s first eight games behind the bench and are 6-1-3 during his tenure.

One more note on Murray, with thanks to colleague Lisa Dillman: Murray has moved out of his South Bay home but it isn't standing empty. He made it available for rent and Sutter moved in this week.


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Photo: Former Kings coach Terry Murray, center, instructs his players during a game against the Montreal Canadiens on Dec. 3. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press