January 4, 2013 - ECHL (ECHL)
PRINCETON, N.J. - The ECHL on Friday announced that the coaches for the 2013 ECHL All-Star Game presented by University of Colorado Health will be Rob Murray of the Alaska Aces and Larry Courville of the Reading Royals.
The 2013 ECHL All-Star Week, presented by CCM, begins on Tuesday, Jan. 22 with the ECHL All-Star Skills Competition, presented by OtterBox, and continues with the ECHL All-Star Game, featuring the Colorado Eagles taking on the ECHL All-Stars, on Wednesday, Jan. 23. Both events begin at 7:05 p.m. MT at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colo.
Murray will serve as head coach for the game by virtue of the Aces having the ECHL's top winning percentage through games of Dec. 30, 2012. Courville is the assistant coach for the game by virtue of the Royals having the top winning percentage in the opposite conference through games of Dec. 30, 2012.
Nine coaches from the ECHL All-Star Game have gone on to coach in the National Hockey League while more than 50 players from the contest have gone on to play in the NHL, including 36 since 2002 when the lineups began having players who coaches felt were prospects to move up to a higher level.
Alaska is 26-8-0, and leads the ECHL with 52 points and 26 wins while Reading is 23-7-2 for 48 points, which leads the Eastern Conference.
It is the first All-Star coaching appearance for both Murray and Courville. The record for All-Star appearances is three by Chris Cichocki, Glen Gulutzan, Davis Payne and Jeff Pyle.
The sixth class will be inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame on Jan. 23, 2013 during a luncheon ceremony presented by BFL Canada at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center, the official host hotel of the 2013 ECHL All-Star Game. Click here to download the ticket order form.
The past nine ECHL All-Star Games have generated more than $1 million each for the local economy as guests, players, coaches and fans occupy hundreds of hotel rooms and spend three days in the host city.
The game has been available on the NHL Network the last nine years as well as being broadcast on multiple regional networks. The audio broadcast has been carried on XM Satellite Radio as well as being available in all ECHL markets.
Rob Murray, Alaska Aces
Rob Murray is in second season as head coach of Alaska after being named to the position on July 13, 2011.
In his first season with the Aces, Murray was named a co-recipient of the John Brophy Award as ECHL Coach of the Year, leading the club to its sixth division title in nine ECHL seasons.
Prior to joining Alaska, Murray spent eight seasons with the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League. He was the club's assistant coach from 2003-08, working alongside former ECHL player and coach Scott Gordon. When Gordon was hired as head coach of the New York Islanders prior to the 2008-09 season, Murray was elevated to head coach in Providence. In his first season as head coach, Murray led the P-Bruins to a 43-29-8 record and a berth in the Eastern Conference Finals. He finished his three-year tenure with a 117-103-20 regular-season record. While in Providence, he coached seven players who went on to win the Stanley Cup with Boston in 2011.
Prior to his coaching career, Murray enjoyed a 16-year playing career that included 107 National Hockey League games with Washington, Winnipeg and Phoenix. Murray ranks seventh in American Hockey League history with 1,018 games played and is second with 2,940 career penalty minutes. Over 500 of his AHL games came with the Springfield Falcons, and he is that club's all-time leader in games played, assists, career penalty minutes and single-season penalty minutes. Murray's number 23 was retired by the Falcons, making him one of just two players in team history to have his jersey retired, alongside Hockey Hall of Famer Eddie Shore. Murray and his wife Carolyn have four children - Taylor, Zack, Quinn and Brendan.
Larry Courville, Reading Royals
Larry Courville is in his fourth full season as head coach and director of hockey operations for the Reading Royals. He was hired as an assistant coach on Dec. 5, 2006 and took over for Jason Nobili on Jan. 6, 2009 after the team began the season 9-23-2. The Royals removed the interim title on April 4, 2009 after the Royals went 15-19-3 in their final 38 games. In his first full season, Courville led the team to the Conference Finals for the first time since 2004 and in 2010-11, tied team records for wins (44) and points (93) in a season. Courville entered this season as the Royals' all-time leader in regular-season games coached (254), playoff games coached (29), regular-season wins (132) and playoff wins (15).
Before taking over as the team's sixth head coach, Courville was the general manager, facility director and hockey operations supervisor for an ice rink in Lancaster, Pa. The 37-year-old was the first inductee into the Reading Eagle Wall of Honor at the Sovereign Center which honors members of the Royals' organization who have made distinctive contributions to the success of the team. On the day of his induction ceremony, Courville dressed for the Royals and scored a late goal to preserve a 5-3 win against Pensacola. He played his last four seasons for Reading and had 64 points (24g-40a) and 197 penalty minutes in 152 games from 2004-08.
Courville was selected in the fifth round (119th overall) by the Winnipeg Jets in the 1993 National Hockey League Entry Draft and in the third round (61st overall) by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft. He played parts of three seasons in the NHL with Vancouver and had three points (1g-2a) and 16 penalty minutes in 33 games. He played seven seasons in the American Hockey League and had 220 points (90g-130a) and 751 penalty minutes in 407 games for Cincinnati, Hershey, Kentucky and Syracuse and 15 points (6g-9a) and 52 penalty minutes in 29 playoff games for Kentucky and Syracuse. He played six seasons in the ECHL and had 96 points (36g-60a) and 264 penalty minutes in 190 regular season games and seven points (2g-5a) and 20 penalty minutes in nine Kelly Cup Playoff games for Johnstown and Reading.
Before turning professional he helped Team Canada capture two gold medals including at the 1995 World Junior U-20 tournament where Canada did not lose a game. He and his wife, Shannon, live in Palmyra, Pa. with their daughters, MaKenna and Morgan, and son, Mason.