Canadian defenseman Jordan Murray has made a career altering mistake and even though he obviously did something wrong I must admit that I can't stop myself from feeling sorry for him.
Murray has been playing in the Kontinental Hockey League for Riga's Dinamo, having participated in 11 games with that organization before suffering an injury relatively early on in the season. This led to an extended layoff for Murray who was set to make his big return to the Dinamo last week, but before he could even set foot back out onto the ice his Kontinental Hockey League career had completely fallen apart.
Murray in what can only be described as a moment of poor judgement, snuck into the opposing team's locker room after arriving at the arena a little early for the game. The opposing team that day was Omsk Avangard and what Murray was looking for was equipment belonging to legendary Russian forward Ilya Kovalchuk who is currently playing for Avangard this season. Specifically Murray went into the locker room to look for Kovalchuk's stick, which he then promptly stole from the Avangard locker room before eventually leaving the arena with the stick.
I don't know if this was part of a prank, if a bet had been made among teammates in order to get Kovalchuk's stick, or if Murray is simply a diehard fan of Kovalchuk and was looking for a piece of memorabilia. What I do know is that this has unfortunately cost Murray his job and as a result of this incident his KHL contract was terminated outright.
Although I do not know what motivated Murray, I do believe that his motives here were not malicious. His team attempted to defend him, even though they no doubt knew what had really happened, by trying to pass the situation off as an error from one of the building's janitors but surveillance video eventually showed that Murray was in fact responsible. I don't believe the team would have made an attempt to concoct such a ridiculous story if they believed their player was actively trying to cheat against an opposing team.
As I stated earlier this story leaves me with nothing but pity for Murray, and I do hope he can bounce back rather quickly.