2012 AAA Bio Thread
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11-15-2012, 10:32 PM
MLD Glue Guy
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BC, Canada
D Murray Henderson
6'00, 180lbs, Shoots L
24 G, 62 A, 86 Pts in 405 GP
The Golden Years: Murray Henderson
Murray Henderson, who patrolled the Boston blue line for eight seasons in the 1940s and 50s, did not have big-league dreams in his youth despite a lineage that seemed to indicate success with skating. His mother, Catherine, was the eldest of ten Conacher children, a brood that ultimately sent brothers, Lionel, Charlie and Roy to the Hockey Hall of Fame but young Murray had no aspirations beyond playing senior amateur in and around his home town of Toronto.
The six-foot, 180-pounder effectively and efficiently nullified enemy forwards, playing a tough game while remaining largely within the bounds of what was tolerated by on-ice officials.
Averaging a dozen points a season, pretty good numbers for what passed for a two-way defenceman in his era, Henderson’s first Boston address was a boarding house on the banks of the Charles River. Run by a woman named Ruthie Hatch, it was also the winter home to a half-dozen other Bruins.
Henderson was designated a Bruins alternate captain at the start of the 1946-47 schedule, despite having only a single full season of NHL play behind him, and gained favour with what was perhaps the most demanding fan base in the league.
While no official league individual honours accrued to him, Henderson was singled out by Boston Garden faithful for his play in the 1947-48 campaign. Following the 1947-48 campaign he and fellow blue line favourite, Pat Egan, were presented with wristwatches courtesy of the leather-lunged fans in the upper reaches of the rink. It might mean more to the soon to be 89-year-old than any All-Star team selection would have.
“They were a tough crowd, that upper gallery,” Henderson recalled. “They had an outfit up there called the Gallery Gods. They got rid of a lot of players. It was a tough place to play if the crowd got on you. It was rough but they paid their money to get in.”
Murray Henderson Turns 90
This shifted the topic to Murray's style of play. "He can best be described as a typical stay-at-home defenceman," said Pete. "A dependable quiet defenceman, not prone to a lot of unnecessary penalties, but could handle himself when he had to."
Legends of Hockey
But the arrival of World War II cleared the ranks of the NHL as so many of its practitioners were in uniform. Henderson himself found service with the Canadian Royal Airforce until his father's death brought an early discharge.
Henderson then found himself back in a hockey circle desperate for players. His senior aspirations were quickly upgraded to the NHL as the Boston Bruins ushered him straight into their defensive corps. This gave "Moe," as he was known, a year to solidify his position before the rest of the league's absentees returned from military duties. By then, Henderson and the Bruins realized he was a better blueliner than anyone had thought. As such, he was able to squeeze seven NHL seasons out of his opportunity, tending to the Bruins' goal crease in an unspectacular but effective manner.
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