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Murray Armstrong Passes Away

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  • #31
    Re: Murray Armstrong Passes Away

    Originally posted by Pablo View Post
    Cool story! I remember reading some classic stories about Murray in conjunction with the DU hockey 60th Anniversary celebrations. One of my favorites was something about him having one of his players bring back a suitcase full of hats across the Canadian border, and running into some funny problems because of it. If anyone has access to that story (which I think was written by the player involved), it would be nice to see it posted on this thread.

    DU was so fortunate to have legendary coaches like Murray Armstrong and Willy Schaefler. I would like to see a nice ceremony honoring Murray at the next DU home game. And the one statue of Murray is not enough of a tribute. The "mural" on the wall of the south concourse is a nice addition, but more needs to be done to honor guys like Armstrong, Magnuson, Carle, etc. inside Magness. Broken record, I know. But it's about time.
    Go to the LetsGoDU blog and check out the list for Armstrong. Aug. 2009 in an interview with Bob Peers he recounts the hat incident among many other memories of Murray. Nevermind, here's the hat story which is only a small part of the interview by D.J. Powers.

    It was my freshman year and I had made a campus visit. There were three recruits out of Winnipeg that were also supposed to come down, and two of those guys ended up going to North Dakota that following year. So I went up to Winnipeg and was supposed to get on a train coming down to Denver. I showed up at the house of Brian Strimbiski and Bob Stoyko and they said, “We’re not going.” So I said, “what do you mean your not going?” Then they said, “Nope, we’re not going. We got a better offer from North Dakota for next year and we’re going to pass on Denver.” Then I said “your loss.” So anyway, Strimbiski had this box of hats. It was a cardboard box, and I asked him “what’s that?” He said “they’re Biltmore Stetsons.” And at that time Biltmores were made in Guelph, Ontario and they had a junior hockey team that had won a couple of times and they were called the Guelph Biltmores. And Murray was a Western distributor in Canada for Biltmore hats. So he was getting a bunch of these hats down to Denver to give to all of his cronies, friends and everything like that. So I inherited these hats and here I am a kid of 18 and didn’t know what the hell was going on. So I get on this train going down to Denver thinking that I was going with two buddies and ended up going all by myself. So they would check customs and immigration right on the train. So I’m sitting in the car and this guy comes by and asked me where I was going. I got out my student visa and then he asked “do you have any luggage?” and I said, “Yes, it’s back in the luggage compartment.” Then he asked if I had anything to declare. Being naïve I said “no, but I’ve got a bunch of hats.” He then asks “what kind of hats?” I said, “I don’t know. I’m taking them for the coach.” So then he says, “Oh, lets go down and have a look at those.” So I said ok and we walked down to the baggage car there and he opens up the box. Then he says “oh, they’re nice, expensive hats, but you can’t bring those in (to the US).” Then I said to him “but they’re not mine!” Then he says to me “when you get into the Denver, this guy that you’re talking about, this Murray Armstrong is going to have to pay duty on them.” So I said, “fine, I don’t care.” So the train gets into Union Station in Denver and Murray’s waiting there. So then Murray says to me “Bob, how was your trip down?” and I told him that it was great. Then Murray asks, “Did you bring my hats?” I said, “Yeah Murray, but I think there’s a problem.” He said, “What do you mean?” I said, “well, I got stopped and you’ve got some paperwork to do.” So then he says, “Well, we’ll see about that!” So Murray goes over to the clearinghouse area and everything. And Murray was quite loquacious. So the next thing I know, this guy at the baggage claim was saying to Murray “yes sir, yes sir, I’m sorry sir” and then he just gave him the hats! (Laughs) And I don’t know what the heck Murray had said to him, but he got his hats. So that was the first time that I knew this guy has something to offer. He’s obviously well known and articulate. He was able to finesse or whatever without being dishonest. He wasn’t dishonest, but I think he said that they were gifts. So by the code and everything, you can bring in gifts. He said, “I’m not reselling them or anything like that. I paid for them, so these are for my friends.” And I think that’s how he got around it. He’s quite a guy.”
    I'm going back to read the rest.
    GO DU !!!

    Comment


    • #32
      Re: Murray Armstrong Passes Away

      Originally posted by Ralph Baer View Post
      I think that was 1966, or at least that was when Clarkson played MSU. I quite vividly remember Clarkson beating RPI 16-1 (it was painful, believe me) at the end of the season and then get killed by MSU whom they beat during the season. Of course, even then, it was the EZAC.
      Yeah,'66. You get the Rice-a-roni. DU had gotten to the FF by coming back against UND. Trailing 4-1 after two in the DU arena the Pios scored 3 in the 3rd and won it in OT. Another ironic twist of that go-ahead "no goal": Lenny Ciglarski was so pleased with the "save" he threw a stick on the ice! No replays in those days, sadly. And no clear favorite among the four clubs in the FF. As you indicated, there was a lot of play between the four during the regulaqr season. The NC game featured Amo Bessone's little boy, on the bench, taking a puck to the face. Lots of blood. But Amo never blinked when the boy was taken away. He had a game to coach. Besides, the MSU trainer could sew the wound up without his help.
      2011 Poser of the Year & Pulitzer Prize winning machine gunner.

      Comment


      • #33
        Re: Murray Armstrong Passes Away

        Originally posted by Pablo View Post
        Cool story! I remember reading some classic stories about Murray in conjunction with the DU hockey 60th Anniversary celebrations. One of my favorites was something about him having one of his players bring back a suitcase full of hats across the Canadian border, and running into some funny problems because of it. If anyone has access to that story (which I think was written by the player involved), it would be nice to see it posted on this thread.

        The Hat Story

        by former DU player Bob Peers

        Murray liked to throw big words around.

        “Well 'precipitous' is the one (new word) that always come out. Murray would say, “You have to check very precipitously.”

        The guys would then be looking around and saying “Christ, we saw the names on the backs of the jerseys and he ain’t playing today.” (Laughs)

        He did that and then he would tell us “you all have to expand yourselves.”

        So he would have us do things like going through the dictionary and learn a (new) word a day, which is an old story. Murray was uneducated and didn’t have a formal education at all. He grew up in Regina and became a hockey player, but he tried to improve himself all the time. He was an immaculate dresser, always had the suit and a little Biltmore cap on. And there’s a good story about the hats.

        It was my freshman year and I had made a campus visit. There were three recruits out of Winnipeg that were also supposed to come down, and two of those guys ended up going to North Dakota that following year. I went up to Winnipeg and was supposed to get on a train coming down to Denver. I showed up at the house of Brian Strimbiski and Bob Stoyko and they said, “We’re not going.”

        So I said, “what do you mean your not going?”

        Then they said, “Nope, we’re not going. We got a better offer from North Dakota for next year and we’re going to pass on Denver.”

        Then I said, “Your loss.”

        So anyway, Strimbiski had this box of hats. It was a cardboard box, and I asked him “what’s that?”

        He said, “They’re Biltmore Stetsons.”

        And at that time Biltmores were made in Guelph, Ontario and they had a junior hockey team that had won a couple of times and they were called the Guelph Biltmores. And Murray was a Western distributor in Canada for Biltmore hats. He was getting a bunch of these hats down to Denver to give to all of his cronies, friends and everything like that.

        I inherited these hats and here I am a kid of 18 and didn’t know what the hell was going on. I get on this train going down to Denver thinking that I was going with two buddies and ended up going all by myself and a box of hats.

        They used check customs and immigration right on the train. I’m sitting in the car and this guy comes by and asked me where I was going.

        I handed him my student visa and then he asked “do you have any luggage?” and I said, “Yes, it’s back in the luggage compartment.”

        Then he asked if I had anything to declare. Being naïve I said “no, but I’ve got a bunch of hats.”

        He then asks “what kind of hats?” I said, “I don’t know. I’m taking them for the coach.”

        So then he says, “Oh, lets go down and have a look at those.”

        I said OK and we walked down to the baggage car there and he opens up the box.

        Then he says “oh, they’re nice, expensive hats, but you can’t bring those in (to the US).”

        I said to him “but they’re not mine!” Then he says to me “when you get into the Denver, this guy that you’re talking about, this Murray Armstrong is going to have to pay duty on them.”

        I said, “fine, I don’t care.”

        The train gets into Union Station in Denver and Murray’s waiting there.

        Murray says to me “Bob, how was your trip down?” and I told him that it was great.

        Then Murray asks, “Did you bring my hats?”

        I said, “Yeah Murray, but I think there’s a problem.”

        He said, “What do you mean?”

        I said, “well, I got stopped and you’ve got some paperwork to do.”

        He says, “Well, we’ll see about that!”

        So Murray goes over to the clearinghouse area and everything. And Murray was quite loquacious. The next thing I know, this guy at the baggage claim was saying to Murray “yes sir, yes sir, I’m sorry sir” and then he just gave him the hats! (Laughs)

        I don’t know what the heck Murray had said to him, but he got his hats. That was the first time that I knew this guy has something to offer. He’s obviously well known and articulate. He was able to finesse or whatever without being dishonest. He wasn’t dishonest, but I think he said that they were gifts. So by the code and everything, you can bring in gifts. He said, “I’m not reselling them or anything like that. I paid for them, so these are for my friends.”

        "And I think that’s how he got around it. He’s quite a guy.”
        Last edited by dggoddard; 12-10-2010, 03:20 PM.

        Comment


        • #34
          Re: Murray Armstrong Passes Away

          http://157.166.255.22/vault/article/...16/1/index.htm

          SI story about '69 NC team but was really a story about Murray. Pointed out his business successes (Jet X) and some of his philosophy.
          2011 Poser of the Year & Pulitzer Prize winning machine gunner.

          Comment


          • #35
            Re: Murray Armstrong Passes Away

            Gwoz said in post-game tonight that the rest of the season will be dedicated to Murray.
            DU HOCKEY 1958 1960 1961 1968 1969 2004 2005 2017 NCAA CHAMPIONS

            DU SKIING 1954 1955 1956 1957 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1969 1970 1971 2000 2001 2002 2005 2008 2009 2010 2014 2016 2018 NCAA CHAMPIONS

            DU LACROSSE 2015 NCAA CHAMPIONS

            MATT CARLE WINNER OF 2006 HOBEY BAKER AWARD


            Geoff Paukovich: That's why I came to Denver, to beat CC.

            Comment


            • #36
              Re: Murray Armstrong Passes Away

              Mike Chambers Denver Post Blog has more Murray stories. An interesting quote from Air Force coach Frank Serratore that some of Murray's recruiting practices about verbal commitments are still honored to this day.

              http://blogs.denverpost.com/sports/2...mstrong/14660/

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