Tuesday, April 6, 2010

OBITUARY: EX- PATS - BALFOUR, MURRAY LEWIS


BALFOUR, Murray Lewis – Born: 24 August 1936, Died: 30 May 1965. A Professional Hockey Player. A native of Regina, Saskatchewan. He played on the outdoor rinks and in the Local League program. Murray then played Junior Hockey for the Regina Pats in 1952-53 to 1955-56 as a Defenceman in the old Western Junior Hockey League (WJHL). In his last year with the Pats in the Western Semi-Final play-offs in Flin Flon, in the last game of the series, (Thursday, March 29, at Flin Flon) Coach Murray Armstrong, had Murray become a forward and that is how he became a Right Winger. Regina was trailing 4-1 in the second period and Regina roared back to pump home 8 goals, starting with Murray's goals at 13:50.

Balfour played for teams in the Quebec hockey League (QHL), National hockey League (NHL), Eastern Ontario Hockey League (EOHL), and the American Hockey League (AHL). At 5'9”, 178 pounds, Murray played for the Ottawa Junior Canadiens from 1956 to 1957, Montreal Canadiens from 1956 to 1958, Ottawa-Hull Canadiens from 1956 to 1957, Montreal Royals from 1957 to 1958, Rochester Americans from 1958 to 1959, Chicago Blackhawks from 1959 to 1964 (playing on the famous “Million Dollar Line” with Bobby Hull and ex-Regina Pats Red Hay), Hershey Bears from 1964 to 1965, and the Boston Bruins from 1964 to 1965.

Murray Balfour died from an inoperable tumour that was found on this lung on May 30, 1965, at the age of 28. A few days later over 900 people including Bobby Hull attended his funeral at Regina's Riverside Memorial Park Cemetery.

Murray became the 11th Regina Pat to be inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame on June 12, 2004. In 1975 the City of Regina honoured him by naming a rink on Massey Road in the Hillsdale/Whitmore Park after him.