Vendor: HarperCollins Publishers
Number of Pages: 320
Dimensions: 9.00 × 6.00 (inches)
Joe Murphy had it all. In 1986, he became the first college-educated hockey player ever selected first overall in the NHL entry draft. He won a Stanley Cup in Edmonton alongside Mark Messier. But since then, his life has taken a tragic turn as a result of mental illness, substance abuse and the untreated head injuries he suffered as a player.
Murphy’s life didn’t begin on a track that would take him to poverty, addiction and illness. He was smart, dedicated and put his hockey life on hold to complete his education before joining the NHL. He once scored eighty-two points in a season and was a key player for the Oilers, Red Wings and Blackhawks, among other teams. But one vicious bodycheck during a game started him down a road to ruin. Murphy was clearly shaken by the hit, but he was never treated and he never missed a game. His entire life was about to change.
Murphy became a journeyman, moving from team to team, and all along the way, other NHLers said they witnessed a change. Murphy was becoming more different by the day. He took to drugs and alcohol and soon found himself out of the NHL entirely. He and his wife divorced. Murphy eventually became homeless and, in the spring of 2019, he made his way to Kenora, Ontario, where he lived in the bush, spending his days outside a local convenience store, muttering to himself. The player who had once set the NHL aflame slept by the side of the road in the unforgiving North.
In the vein of Playing with Fire and Boy on Ice, Finding Murph tells the tragic story of Joe Murphy and examines the role of the NHL in the downward spiral of one of the league’s most promising players.