In the annals of sports history, some trades are etched into memory as cautionary tales, and the Los Angeles Kings’ decision to trade hall-of-fame defenseman Larry Murphy to the Washington Capitals in 1983 is undoubtedly one of them. This trade, which occurred on this day in 1983, is often cited among the worst in league history, leaving fans of the Kings with a sense of regret and longing for what might have been.
Larry Murphy’s impact on the Kings was nothing short of spectacular. In the 242 games he played before the trade, he notched an impressive 207 points and earned recognition as a Calder Trophy and Norris Trophy Finalist. His skill and presence on the ice were undeniable, making him a beloved figure among fans.
“How it played out is, George Maguire threw out a number, my agent threw out a number, we had a discussion, and the arbitrator awarded me, actually less than what George Maguire said in the hearing. He (the arbitrator) was league-appointed, the league didn’t want to see that number.”
However, a contract dispute cast a dark shadow over Murphy’s time with the Kings. In a recent episode of AllTheKingsMen, Murphy himself described the situation, shedding light on the turmoil that ultimately led to his departure. His former teammate and Kings color commentator, Jim Fox, went as far as to label the situation “criminal” during the same podcast, underscoring the gravity of the dispute.
It became increasingly clear that a trade was inevitable, and the departure of Larry Murphy marked a turning point in his career. After leaving the Kings, Murphy went on to register an astonishing 1,009 points in 1,373 games and secured four Stanley Cups, cementing his legacy as a hockey legend and earning a well-deserved spot in the Hall of Fame.
However, for many loyal Kings fans, the trade remains a painful reminder of what might have been. The era that featured stars like Marcel Dionne, Larry Murphy, Charlie Simmer, Dave Taylor, Jim Fox, and Bernie Nichols is remembered as a missed opportunity for the franchise. The potential for greatness seemed within grasp, only to slip away due to what some view as mismanagement.
- Larry Murphy’s trade to the Washington Capitals in 1983 is often regarded as one of the worst in NHL history.
- Before the trade, Murphy had an impressive record with the Kings, earning 207 points and being recognized as a Calder Trophy and Norris Trophy Finalist.
- A contract dispute, described by Murphy as problematic and even “criminal” by teammate Jim Fox, led to his departure from the Kings.
The Larry Murphy trade of 1983 serves as a somber chapter in the history of the Los Angeles Kings. While Murphy went on to achieve greatness elsewhere, his departure remains a bittersweet memory for Kings fans who believe that the team’s potential for success was unjustly curtailed by the circumstances surrounding this trade.