Joe Murphy, Detroit Red Wings’ No. 1 pick, is homeless again — and refusing help


  • Efforts to get the No. 1 pick in the 1986 NHL draft off the streets have failed.
  • And now some say he’s using drugs.
  • Jeff Seidel of the Free Press found Murphy living on the street in Kenora, in northwest Ontario, refusing help from a host of concerned parties, including the NHL Alumni Association, police, social workers and former teammates.
  • He spoke often of seeing “angels and archangels,” although many of his problems may be related to the frequent head injuries he sustained as a hockey player.
  • Murphy appears to be cogent and oriented.
  • He describes himself as a person who likes to be alone and has “a lot of energy.” Consequently, he walks the streets of the tourist town, north of Minneapolis and east of Winnipeg, and occasionally stops in at a homeless drop-in center for food and clothing.

“I hope he doesn’t end up on a memorial wall,” an administrator at the center says, in an accompanying video. She also said she suspects he is using drugs, based on an abscess in the crook of Murphy’s arm. 

W5: The rise and fall of a Stanley Cup champion

Joe Murphy with MSU/Red Wings/Oilers/Capitals


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