In our latest series of 20 questions, I go 1-on-1 with Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy:
1. Favorite NHL team growing up and why?
Columbus, because I lived there.
2. Favorite NHL player growing up and why?
Probably Nicklas Lidstrom. He was just a stud. He was like the best defenseman every year. They would come and beat up on Columbus a lot and he was so good. The guy would be so steady, but yet be able to produce offensively and defensively shut down. He seemed like he could do it all.
3. What was your welcome to the NHL moment?
My first exhibition game against Los Angeles, I was on the third pair, so the first shift was the first pair and LA went out and scored on the first shot, like a hard slapshot that was one of the harder ones I've seen. On the second shift, Jordan Nolan made a hit in the open ice out of nowhere and kind of blindsided Rusty Klesla and knocked him out cold, and then there was a line brawl on the ice. And I was the third shift, so it was kind of like, "What am I in for? Because if it was a goal and then a knocked out guy and a line brawl, what's going to happen the third shift?" So that was my welcome to the NHL moment.
4. Favorite road city in the NHL and why?
Montreal. The city is cool, they've got nice restaurants and everything, but I just think the rink, for whatever reason for me, it feels a little different, a little more historic.
5. That was my follow-up, favorite road arena in the NHL
Yeah, Bell Centre in Montreal.
6. Favorite all-time teammate and why?
That's not easy. Everyone's got a different reason. Are guys usually saying their buddies maybe? Yeah. I'm good friends with Anthony Duclair. I've played with him in Arizona and here in Chicago and he's a funny guy to have on the team.
7. Why do you wear No. 5?
My dad was number 5.
8. Favorite activity to unwind from hockey?
I think Netflix is an easy answer or my dog.
9. What's your stick flex number?
102 right now. It was 95, and then for whatever the new batch of the sticks just felt too light at 95 so I made it a little stiffer and heavier. This year you changed it? Last year. I kind of want to go back, but yeah, that's what it is now.
10. What's one thing you have to do on a game day?
Have a coffee after my nap.
11. Best hockey prank you've witnessed
When I was in the minors my first year, a guy on our team fell — he either dove or he got knocked down — and he laid on the ice forever and he wasn't really hurt. So the next day, the older guys, I didn't know who it was, they went out on the ice before practice and they took black paint and they did the outline of his body like it was a dead body in the crime scene, and we came out for practice just starting to skate laps and you can see the outline of a body down at the one end of the corner. The coach was so mad because they wrecked the ice. But it was them messing with the guy that was laying on the ice for too long.
12. Hardest player you've had to defend
I'm trying to think of my career early on. I guess you can say Connor McDavid.
13. Current or former player you'd want as your D partner
Oh my gosh. Bobby Orr? That's the easy answer. *Laughs*
14. Build your all-time 3-on-3 overtime lineup
Goalie too? Sure, let's do it. I like Patrick Roy as the goalie. And then for offense, I think you have to do Connor McDavid because of his speed, maybe a guy like Mario Lemieux and Bobby Orr.
15. Favorite TV show or movie
I don't know why I'm drawing a blank. What other ones have I binged hard? You can go as far back as Entourage or something like that.
16. Favorite vacation spot in the summer
I like lakes, so maybe a lake up in Ontario, whether it's my family lake or other lakes in general. I like being on boats out on lakes.
17. Favorite sport outside of hockey?
18. What's your golf handicap and which 3 teammates would you want in a foursome?
It got too low this summer. I'm not really this low, but it was at like a five this summer, but I'm not that good. Usually it's at an eight or nine.
Teammates that are good? Yeah, or a combination of skill and entertainment. There's a lot of good guys that are not good. I think Alex Stalock would be funny, everyone loves him. I don't know how good he is at golf, but he can be one you add. Sam Lafferty is really good, so I'd add him. I would say Jonathan Toews because I've played with him a good amount. The only thing is, if he has a bad day, he's not happy. *Laughs*
19. Favorite non-hockey athlete ever?
I'm trying to think, I've seen some good documentaries on guys I really like. You can say Kobe Bryant maybe. I don't even know if I was that big of a fan, I don't know if I really watched him that much but just how much has been documented on him has been really cool.
20. If you weren't a hockey player, what would you be?
Yeah, everyone asks that. I don't know, I would go to school and probably just be an intern at some high rise in Columbus, Ohio maybe. *Laughs*
- 20 questions with Blackhawks defenseman Ian Mitchell
- 20 questions with Blackhawks forward Jujhar Khaira
- 20 questions with Blackhawks forward Sam Lafferty
- 20 questions with Blackhawks defenseman Isaak Phillips
- 20 questions with Blackhawks defenseman Jack Johnson
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