Ex-Canuck Murray Baron proud to be included in B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame

 

Veteran NHL blue-liner one of five new inductees

 
 
 
 
Then-Vancouver Canucks blue-liner Murray Baron takes a break after finishing morning practice at the NHL team’s Whistler training camp in September 1998. Baron was named as an inductee to the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
 
 

Then-Vancouver Canucks blue-liner Murray Baron takes a break after finishing morning practice at the NHL team’s Whistler training camp in September 1998. Baron was named as an inductee to the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.

Photograph by: Ward Perrin, VANCOUVER SUN

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VANCOUVER — Murray Baron has only one real regret about a National Hockey League playing career that lasted 15 seasons.

He wishes he’d squeezed another dozen games out of it.

Baron retired in 2004 having played 988 NHL games and acknowledged Monday that in recent years the fact he didn’t quite make it to 1,000 has bothered him.

“I should have tried to stick around a bit longer,” Baron said after he was named as one of six 2016 inductees to the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame. “That’s a regret, but there’s nothing you can do about it now.”

Baron, who was born in Prince George and raised in Kamloops, is proud of the career he did carve out in the NHL as a dependable, stay-at-home defenceman.

“Even making the league was an accomplishment,” Baron said. “I was an eighth-round draft pick and played house-league hockey up until midget, so I am definitely proud of the career I had.”

Baron had 35 goals, 129 points and 1,309 penalty minutes in his NHL career.

“I definitely wasn’t a point-getter, you know that,” said the man his teammates called Bear.

Baron spent five seasons with the Canucks, from 1997-98 through 2002-03. He is entering the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame with three other new inductees who have Canuck connections.

Former Vancouver teammate Brendan Morrison, longtime Canucks equipment manager Pat O’Neill and former Canucks defenceman and current B.C. Hockey League commissioner John Grisdale will also be inducted at a July 22 ceremony in Penticton, along with longtime Merritt hockey supporter Brian Barrett.

The 1998-99 Vernon Vipers team, winners of RBC Cup-Canadian Junior A championship, is the other B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame indictee for 2016.

“When I got here we struggled,” Baron said of his stint with the Canucks. “But we improved each year and to be part of Nazzie (Markus Naslund), Bert (Todd Bertuzzi) and Mo (Morrison) when they were flying was nice. We had some good teams there toward the end.”

Now 48, Baron settled in Phoenix after retiring, but is back living in Kamloops with his wife and two sons. He still owns a Kamloops nightclub, but has sold the pub he once owned.

He said his two boys — aged five and 10 — keep him busy.

“They’re both in hockey,” he said. “I am one of the coaches for my older son’s team. We are at the rink probably four or five nights a week now. It’s busy.”

He called his induction into B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame something special.

“Your career goes by really fast,” he said. “I can remember my first game like it was yesterday and the next thing you know 15 years has gone by.

“To get some recognition like this 10 years later is definitely something to be proud of.”

bziemer@vancouversun.com

Twitter.com/bradziemer

 
 
 
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Then-Vancouver Canucks blue-liner Murray Baron takes a break after finishing morning practice at the NHL team’s Whistler training camp in September 1998. Baron was named as an inductee to the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
 

Then-Vancouver Canucks blue-liner Murray Baron takes a break after finishing morning practice at the NHL team’s Whistler training camp in September 1998. Baron was named as an inductee to the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.

Photograph by: Ward Perrin, VANCOUVER SUN

 
Then-Vancouver Canucks blue-liner Murray Baron takes a break after finishing morning practice at the NHL team’s Whistler training camp in September 1998. Baron was named as an inductee to the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Then-Vancouver Canucks defenceman Murray Baron pins Calgary Flames winger (and former Canuck) Martin Gelinas against the boards during a December 2002 NHL game at GM Place. Baron was named as an inductee to the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
Then-Vancouver Canucks defenceman Murray Baron celebrates his goal against the Calgary Flames during NHL action at GM Place in October 2000. Baron was named as an inductee to the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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