Earlier this year  (May 20th in Helsinki, Finland) Andy was inducted into the IIHF Hall-of-Fame (Class of 2012)…he talks about some of his experiences with Team Canada…

JF: Earlier this year you were inducted into the International Ice Hockey Hall of Fame.  When you think back–when you think about the whole international hockey competition aspect, what comes to mind?

Andy Murray: There isn’t one event or one thing that I can say was better than the other–I was fortunate enough to win six Spengler Cups

…and three World Championships be in the Olympics but to me there are two things and I’ll always remember.  Number 1–The players and coaches are all on the ice and everybody lines up on the blue line after they’ve given you the medals and you stand across the blue line and they play your anthem and it’s pretty special.  I always took a few steps back and looked at the line of the players, the assistants and everybody celebrating and you just look at that and think, that’s pretty special–you hear your anthem playing and seeing a whole bunch of Canadians on the ice celebrating.  The other thing is I took my cell phone and from the ice I called my mom at home–actually after each event and I know that meant a lot to her and it was special for me too–those are the two things that stick out in my mind, watching everybody celebrate and then calling her.

JF: Until I did a little research, I wasn’t aware–other than Russian coaches (Arkady Chernyshev/Anatoli Tarasov/Boris Kulagin/TiktorTikhonov)…

…no other coach has ever coached three World Champions and as was pointed out in the article that I read–usually the Russian team was intact for many years in a row and didn’t really change but you were able to bring three “different” teams (1997, 2003, 2007) together quickly.  What do you have to do bring them together so quickly and no disrespect to anyone, you have to pick from players that don’t make the NHL playoffs?

Andy Murray: You have to have a GM that picks good players (Laughs).  You’ve got guys that say no to you as well, for whatever reason.  I just always felt–I never gave a thought that we weren’t going to win, I mean it was just, you’re Canadian and you go to a international tournament and you’re supposed to win it and I think it’s pretty unique because–and we were talking about amateurs earlier, but these guys are all pros and I’ll tell you, as soon as they put that jersey on and practice and you’ve got them together for the whole time–you do a lot of team building and it’s five or six weeks and guys have given five or six weeks of their lives up to go and play for their country.  I mean, if you’re going to do that, you should plan to win it–that’s why, to me, the best things in those jobs is when you call the player, you call a Jarome Iginla or a Joe Sakic or Rob Blake...

…and they said ‘yeah coach I’d love to be there I’ll be there’, that was the best thing, because you knew right away what those guys were giving up and you don’t get paid for it, we didn’t get paid for those things and you go because it’s the right thing to do and to me it was just that rallying cry that you hear and you should win it–we’re here, we’re going to spend this time together, let’s win this and everything we do and everything we did involved team building–from the way you handed out team Canada shirts, it was all part of team building.  Rather than giving them everything at once we put one t-shirt in their stall after practice, you know what guys are like, they come in they get a free t-shirt, it doesn’t matter if they make 10 million dollars, all of a sudden if they didn’t get their free t-shirt they’re looking for it–we had a plan for team building from the day we got together and all the way through the things we did on a daily basis.  I know the last team I was with it was “digging in or Canada!”  We went to the war archives in Ottawa and we got film–we called it “trench warfare” hockey.  We were going to Russia that year, that last year and the Russians had Ovechkin and Malkin

…and everybody and that’s when we had a young team, the last one in 2007 and we knew we were going to have to dig in and battle so we called it “trench warfare hockey” and we showed them clips from the World War I, where the Canadians would go out in the trenches and then you get stopped and then you dig in and push back but you dig in again and you move forward again.  We try to have a theme for every one of the world championships that we’re at, the last one was kind of “digging in for Canada” because we hadn’t won one for a while internationally we needed to do something and we were trying to get a better placing so that Canada could get a better seed at the Olympics and that was important–so to me it’s just bottom line, when you are putting on that Canadian jersey and you do everything you can to make sure that happens.  Everything’s team building it’s pulling together–you know your practices have to be well designed so that there’s energy but you’re setting up a structure that they can deal with in very quick order.

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