Giants’ Legend Darcy Murphy Confirms Retirement
The Stena Line Belfast Giants can confirm that Darcy Murphy will not be returning to Belfast this season, having made the decision to retire from professional hockey.
Known affectionately to the Teal Army as ‘Dangles’ for his speed and stick work, Murphy made a huge impact on the Giants organisation across his three seasons in Belfast. He retires as a two-time EIHL Champion and a three-time Challenge Cup Champion.
Murphy spoke of having ‘fallen in love’ with the city of Belfast when he first crossed the Atlantic in 2015 to play in the inaugural Friendship Four college hockey tournament at The SSE Arena, Belfast with Colgate. He returned as a Giant in 2017/18, posting 33 goals and 24 assists (57 points) in 66 games, and closed the season with his first Challenge Cup win after an OT thriller against the Cardiff Devils in Wales.
When he returned for the 2018/19 campaign, he was simply untouchable. On his way to an EIHL League and Challenge Cup Championship double, Murphy broke the long-standing Giants single-season goal record (previously held by Jeff Szwez) by lighting the lamp 49 times. He added 48 assists throughout the season for a staggering total of 97 points in 75 games played.
Playing on one of the all-time great top lines alongside Blair Riley and David Rutherford, Murphy ended the season with nods for the EIHL’s most goals and most assists. He picked up EIHL Forward of the year and was named to the EIHL First All-Star team. He was also named the Continental Cup’s Best Forward as the Giants narrowly lost out in a thrilling final against Kazakhstan side Arlan Kokshetau.
Murphy received a hero’s welcome when he returned to Belfast in 2021/22, following the pandemic and a spell overseas in Germany, Switzerland and Poland. Whilst his return was hampered by long-term injury, Murphy continued to display his love for Belfast off the ice and in the community throughout the season. He appeared in 37 games as the Belfast Giants retained their EIHL League and Challenge Cup titles.
Commenting on the news, Darcy Murphy said: “What a journey it’s been. When I first arrived in Belfast in 2015 as a college hockey player in the Friendship Four, I knew I wanted to return some day, and I’m glad I did. I quickly found a second home in the city - within its people, the Giants organisation, my teammates, the coaching staff, and the Teal Army of course.
“It felt like a fitting time to hang up the skates, having hoisted two Elite League and three Challenge Cup trophies in three seasons at the Giants. I can walk away from the game knowing that I’ve fulfilled everything I set out to do, and more. It’s been special.
“I can’t thank those who made my experience in Belfast what it was, enough - the list would be endless, but you know who you are. The Belfast Giants will always have a place in my heart.”
Adam Keefe, head coach, Belfast Giants said: “The retirement of Darcy Murphy will touch the hearts of the Teal Army, and the Giants organisation as a whole.
“A true team player, on and off the ice, it has been an absolute pleasure to stand behind the bench as his coach and watch him do what he does best. His passion for this team and this city hit home with the fans, whether he was celebrating goals, engaging with the local community and fans, or lifting well-deserved and hard-earned silverware.
“We’d like to thank Darcy Murphy for three incredible seasons in teal, and whilst we are disappointed to see him go, we wish him the very best for his next chapter and life after hockey. The impact that Murph made in Belfast will live on, and his career here should be celebrated. He will forever be a Giants legend.”
With the Giants’ off-season recruitment drawing to a close, tickets for the 2022/2023 home Pre-Season, Premier Sports Elite League, Challenge Cup, and CHL home games at The SSE Arena, Belfast are on sale NOW. More information and a full list of fixtures are available here.