Saturday, December 03, 2005

Bryan Murray v. Jim Fox

I'm trying my best to find some information on the altercation between Ottawa Senators coach Bryan Murray and LA Kings Fox network broadcaster Jim Fox, but I can't seem to find any reference to it online.

Fox, a former King himself, was critical of Murray's coaching strategy in what was a rough-and-tumble game in Ottawa last night. One of the two confronted the other, words were exchanged and — that's all I've got for you at this point folks. The whole scenario makes you wonder if objectivity is a desired commodity in a hockey broadcaster any more.

I saw a good portion of the game, but I didn't catch what Fox thought Murray had done wrong. His team, after all, was up 5-1 fairly early into the third period and had little to gain from any extended altercations. I certainly can't criticize a team that grows tired of Sean Avery's on-ice antics.

Here's hoping Chris McMurtry has more on this game later today. (Maybe he knows why the 6-foot-1, 210-pound Tim Gleason wanted to fight 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara.)


At 4:23 a.m., December 03, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

James, a lot of broadcasters are actually employees of the team, not necessarily the network(s) they're broadcasting on.

Some definitely cheer more for the home team than others, but most have to be very careful when cricizing their teams.

The absence of much criticism can itself seem like bias, but usually it's just "withheld opinion".

At the same time, it can also be hard not to root for people you know well. You and I both write about how most players we talk to are good people, and these broadcasters are travelling with the team, getting to know many of them very well. So no matter what jersey they're wearing, it can be hard to not let a little of that out. It's generally why broadcasters seem more excited about a player's return to his former team than most fans are about it (that, and it's just another story line within an 82-game regular season).

Some random thoughts while it's too late.

As for the incident, there was just some words exchanged.

From the Ottawa Citizen:

When Murray's tirade had ended, he found Kings analyst Jim Fox in the hallway, and they held an animated discussion.

During the broadcast of the game, Fox called Murray "crazy" and questioned some of his coaching tactics.

"He was just frustrated with what I said," said Fox, a former star for the Kings and Ottawa 67's. "He didn't touch me or anything like that."

Can't wait to hear Colin Campbell's suspension decision.

At 9:08 a.m., December 03, 2005, Blogger MikeM said...

re: Gleason vs. Chara

I don't think Chara gave Gleason much of a choice (hence the instigator call on Chara). My take is that Chara took on Gleason in retaliation for Kings "tough guy" Cowan taking on the much smaller Chris Kelly after passing up all of McGratton's invitations through the game.

At 11:04 a.m., December 03, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've already posted my thoughts on the game but I'll expand here. Ottawa attempted to instigate 2 fights once they got up 5-1. McGratton, whose only real purpose is to fight, attacked Sean Avery who had no intention to fight. Since there was no fight, there was no instigator given, but that doesn't mean the intent to instigate wasn't there. And then Chara instigated a fight against Gleason and will get suspended for it. If this were the Leafs 2 years ago Senators fans would be calling the Leafs a goon squad and a black eye on hockey.

Oh, and can anyone tell me what Avery did wrong in that game? He threw a couple of clean, hard hits, and he tried to get a loose puck at Hasek's feet which sent Hasek beserk, but I didn't see him take any diry shots. He just did his job as a pest and got under the skin of the opponent.

At 12:20 p.m., December 03, 2005, Blogger CMcMurtry said...

The game as a whole was very chippy.

L.A. seemed to think that they way to beat Ottawa was to play this way. But on both sides, most of it was clean, with the exception being Chris Neil's hit from behind on Dustin Brown, who had thrown a handful of big clean hits throughout the game.

I don't think Neil was intentionally trying to hurt Brown, because he's not that kind of player, but he likely was wound up due to Brown running around all night and crashing and it got the best of him.

L.A. got a five minute PP out of it, and with a big opportunity to get back into the game, registered four shots and no real good scoring chances with the man advantage.

But once Ottawa got up a four goals, it got very nasty.

The Sean Avery incident has been talked about a lot, and I've seen some defend him by saying he was just going after a loose puck, but if you've only seen the highlights, you're not getting the whole story.

Yes, on that instance, it was a loose puck, but he was slashing and jabbing Hasek all night long.

Hasek was probably out of line in approaching Avery, but when a goalie gets his helmet knocked off, even if he initiated it, you know there will be a response.

So McGrattan went after Avery. With all his actions throughout the game, and the borderline racist comments he's made in the past, I have a hard time sympathizing with Avery. As far as I'm concerned, he could get his face broken and I wouldn't bat an eye.

After that, Jeff Cowan fought Chris Kelly. Neither are Donald Brasheur, but Cowan fights on occasion. Kelly does not. It wasn't a goon job, and Kelly dropped his gloves first, but it was certainly a mismatch. Earlier in the game, McGrattan had been trying to get Cowan to go to no avail. Now with McGrattan out of the game, he's okay with going with a guy that has zero career pro fights. Kelly, to his credit, tried to go, but he was out of his element.

So Chara went at Gleason. Size wise, yeah, it's a mismatch as well, but Gleason isn't a stranger to fighting.

It was all very nasty, but I don't think either Murray did anything wrong.

I don't think Murray instructed either McGrattan or Chara to do that, because he wouldn't have to.

The only other fight Chara had this year was the result of a perceived cheapshot on Daniel Alfredsson by Montreal's enforcer, so he has no problem defending his teammates.

As for McGrattan, he knows what his role is, and was clamoring for Avery even before he knocked Hasek upside the head.

At 12:28 p.m., December 03, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's unfair to characterize the Gleason fight that way... Chara initiated it - he got the instigator - and Gleason was willing to fight a giant, rather than let someone else take care of him. Make no mistake, Gleason can't fight well, so that was an honorable thing to do.

At 12:45 p.m., December 03, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is Exhibit A for what constitutes "10k and a game"

At 2:07 p.m., December 03, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim Fox is a retard... Sure, Chara lined up out of position and clearly looks like his grapple with Gleason is thus pre-meditated and all the rules that apply should be applied as punishment. But to then spout off on Murray and how he's always been sending guys out his whole career and blah, blah, blah, blah... SOUR GRAPES is all that is. If anyone should be fined it's Fox for being such a homer idiot for immediately painting Murray as the protaganist.

And I'm a LEAF fan!!!

At 10:54 p.m., December 03, 2005, Blogger James Mirtle said...

I'm well aware of the broadcaster/team partnerships that exist, but that type of arrangement shouldn't be accepted as the norm by the public. It shouldn't be any 'journalist's' job to cheer up the club's fanbase — teams can invest in a larger PR squad if that's what they're after.

If it came down to me having to roast a player who I 'know well,' I would do so. Doing my job properly unfortunately supersedes being popular.

At 2:44 a.m., December 04, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

James, most aren't doing it to be popular with the fans, they're doing it to not piss off their boss.

To be honest, I'm not saying the broadcast teams aren't journalists, but I'm not expecting the same thing from them that I do from the beat writers, who obviously aren't team employees.

Now - some aren't employees, but still ra-ra. Is it right? No, but they're talking to mostly fans of the team they're covering. If they quasi-cheer it's one thing, if they start making claims of phantom penalties and excuses for bad play, it's another.

Minor league games are usually a riot when it comes to impartial calls, but for whatever reason I kinda get a kick out of it down there since it's so blatant, whereas I hold the NHL crews to a different standard. It's also rare a minor league announcer isn't a team employee (and if it's AA, they might even be the communications director or PR guy [or gal]).

At 11:48 a.m., December 05, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I guess the suspension and the 10K fine for the coach only gets waived if your coach's name is Gretzky.

At 3:39 p.m., March 20, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know that this is an old blogging entry but I was searching for something and came across this thread.

Isn't there more history to this event? I seem to remember Bryan Murray and Andy Murray going at it during the former's tenure with Anaheim. Didn't Fox get involved there as well?

As for video of the Fox versus Bryan Murray, it is on YouTube at the following url (language warning):

As for the


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