Whoa, Canada, that was a tough family decision. Even the mother of King Coach Andy Murray weighed in on it.
In the end, Murray’s son Brady, a freshman center at the University of North Dakota, chose to play for the U.S. junior national team instead of trying out for Canada at the upcoming junior hockey world championships in Finland.
Brady Murray, who has dual citizenship, took part in Canada’s junior team evaluation camp last summer, but his roster spot with Canada was not guaranteed -- he would have had to earn it at a tryout. He was guaranteed a spot on the U.S. team.
“I took some heat, mainly from my mother,” said Andy Murray, who coached Canada to the world senior championship in May and is considered a candidate to coach Team Canada at next summer’s World Cup of Hockey.
“I got a few calls from different people just wondering why. It’s a boy that wants to play in a Christmas tournament. You don’t want to be sitting at home during that time.
“We didn’t know what was going to happen in the Canadian situation, and we knew he was able to play in the U.S.”
Brady Murray, who has 15 points in 11 games for top-ranked North Dakota and was the Kings’ fifth-round selection in the 2003 draft, knows several players on the U.S. team, including North Dakota teammate Zach Parise. He is also familiar with the coach of the U.S. team, Mike Eaves.
The junior worlds are in Finland from Dec. 26 to Feb. 5.
King right wing Ziggy Palffy, who has sat out five games because of facial cuts and a bruised jaw, has been skating without contact at the Kings’ training facility. Palffy could return Thursday against the Dallas Stars.... Forward Ian Laperriere, who has sat out three games because of a concussion, has not been skating, although he has been riding an exercise bike.... Forward Steve Kelly was sent back to the Kings’ minor league affiliate in Manchester, N.H. Kelly did not have a point in three games with the Kings.