January 10, 2011 3:30 pm

The times, they have a-changed

There have been plenty of good-natured jokes about Jack Johnson buying meals and gifts for teammates after Johnson agreed to a seven-year contract extension on Saturday, but really, all sides have remained focused on the business at hand. Terry Murray wanted to make sure of that in a recent chat with Johnson…

MURRAY: “I had a little talk with him yesterday. It’s more about being glad it’s done, and congratulations that he committed to a long-term deal. The organization has made a big commitment to (him), long-term, and let’s just grow together. Let’s just think about the game, get to playing hockey and become a better team, a better hockey club.”

Johnson, as previously noted, served as his own agent during negotiations. Murray spent parts of eight seasons in the NHL, with the California Golden Seals, Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit Red Wings and Washington Capitals, and this morning, I asked him if he ever served as his own agent…

MURRAY: “Always. I shouldn’t say that. The last couple years, I did have an agent. I had him for one year, and I fired him. [laughs] That was when I was with the Flyers. He ended up negotiating and telling (general manager) Keith Allen that I was going to Europe to play hockey. Keith Allen came to me and said, `What’s going on? Are you going to Europe?’ I said, `What?’ So I called (the agent) up and I fired him. It was one contract, and that was it.”

Question: Back then, it was sort of like, `This is what we’re paying you, sign here,’ right?

MURRAY: “My first training camp, just coming out of junior hockey, training camp ended after about six weeks. The general manager came to me and gave me a little, tiny piece of paper, just off the corner of a notepad. He said, `Take this, walk around the rink one time. The number is on there, that I’m going to pay you. The bus is going to be ready to leave in one hour. You have to make a decision.’ That was that. … Reggie Leach came to the Oakland Seals through a deal. He has a very high pick, maybe (No.) 5 or 6 overall, with the Boston Bruins. He got 10 and 10. Ten thousand to play, ten thousand to sign. That’s where first-round picks were going that year. I remember Chris Oddleifson. I think he held out to get that 10 signing bonus. They were offering him seven-five [$7,5000]. It’s amazing how you remember those numbers, but that was the war that was going on at the time.”

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