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Sharks Great Douglas Murray on UberTap’s Fate, Secret of “Crankshaft”



Douglas Murray

When we get past the obvious — Joe Thornton, Owen Nolan, Evgeni Nabokov, etc. — Douglas Murray might be the most popular player in San Jose Sharks history.

To call the 6-foot-3, 245-pound blueliner “hard-hitting” is probably an understatement — defensive partner Dan Boyle called him “possibly the hardest hitter in the game.”

Murray was picked by the San Jose Sharks in the eighth round of the 1999 Draft, a round that doesn’t exist anymore, and would play eight seasons in teal, highlighted by his selection to the 2010 Swedish Olympic team and a pair of Western Conference Finals appearances.

In a spirited two-part interview — listen to Part 1 below — the Locked on Sharks guys jabber with Murray about the fate of UberTap, the plaque that was made for him when he scored a pre-season hat trick, reveals more behind the secret of his nickname “Crankshaft”, and how much San Jose’s playoff losses hurt.

Here are a few Part 1 highlights, check out Part 2 here!

Douglas Murray, on the fate of UberTap:

It’s very similar to the cellphone industry. In college, I was dating this girl, and her dad was the VP of Motorola. We can make a phone today that can last a lifetime. But we don’t. Because then we don’t have a business anymore.

If you go into the tap industry, you know how it works. You pick up a keg, you put down a $30-40 deposit on your tap. You get your money back when you return it. But if the tap is broken, you’re out of your $30-40.

[My friends and I], we’re like, this is BS. We have to invent the tap that does not break. Which was idiotic because now we didn’t really have a business. Because everybody loved our tap, but you only needed to buy one and done.

Murray, on his pre-season hat trick against Anaheim in September 2009:

[The locker room guy] makes these really nice plaques with the pucks when you score your 500th goal or 700th assist. They never do them in the pre-season.

A couple days later, after the hat trick, one of those [plaques] was in my stall. He said, “There’s no way you would get it during the regular season, so we made one for you for pre-season.” (laughs) I think I’m the only one who has a pre-season hand-made plaque.

I just scraped out “pre”.

Murray, on how the San Jose Sharks’ locker room dealt with all the criticism they received for their playoff shortcomings:

What’s very frustrating — I think it’s even more frustrating looking back — how good of a team that we had, and we didn’t get it done.

What was most frustrating [about] the media [was] the way they looked at it. They always blamed Patty or Jumbo.

One thing that didn’t get brought up enough, you look at the teams that win the Cups, it’s timely goals by third, fourth-liners. I think our top guys delivered.

If you look at the teams that win the Cup, it’s the top line that goes an entire series without scoring any points, but they get bailed out by the goaltender or the third or fourth line or some unsung hero.

How long was Ovechkin not a playoff player?

Kyle, Erik, JD, and Sheng Peng from San Jose Hockey Now chat with the great Douglas Murray. We cover, in Part 1 of this two-part gabfest:

  • The fate of UberTap (2:00)
  • The story of Murray getting a trophy for a pre-season hat trick (6:45)
  • Who, besides Douglas, knows the origin of his nickname “Crankshaft”? (9:00)
  • What nickname does Murray like more than “Crankshaft”? (12:00)
  • Why he remembers the bad times in the playoffs more than the good (13:20)
  • His frustration with how the media targeted Thornton and Marleau during the Wilson-McLellan era (17:30)
  • On “Cup or Bust” tone in the San Jose locker room (20:00)
  • How he changed the course of the San Jose Sharks franchise — not Joe Thornton (25:40)
  • How good was Murray’s grandpa Lasse Björn? Murray says he would’ve been the first Swedish player in the NHL (26:45)
  • What Douglas told Roy Sommer when he got called up (29:20)

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