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Hockey legend Jim (Bearcat) Murray spent years living in Estevan

Murray lived in Estevan from 1955-1963 and met his wife Shirley here.
Bearcat Murray signs a copy of his book Bearcat Murray: From Ol' Potlicker to Calgary Flames Legend with fellow Flames alumni Lanny McDonald. Murray, who used to live in Estevan, died this week. Photo by Brent Calver with OkotoksTODAY.

ESTEVAN - A member of the Hockey Hall of Fame who died recently spent years living in Estevan and had fond memories of his time here.

Jim (Bearcat) Murray passed away on Tuesday at the age of 89. While most of his years were spent in Alberta, he lived in Estevan from 1955-1963.

In an interview with former Estevan Mercury sports reporter Brad Brown in 2009, Murray reflected on living in Estevan, saying it was probably the best time of his life. He came to the Energy City to work in the oilpatch and moved to Calgary in 1963 to continue his career in oil.  

He played intermediate (senior) hockey for the Estevan Miners, reaching the provincial final in 1960 against the Moose Jaw Playmores.

And he met his wife Shirley when he was living and working in Estevan.

Murray was the long-time trainer for the Calgary Flames, and was part of the Flames’ team that won the Stanley Cup in 1989. He retired from the club in 1996, but remained with the organization as one of its ambassadors.

In 2009, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame’s athletic trainers’ category by the Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society and the Society of Professional Hockey Equipment Managers.
He also served as the trainer for a number of different teams, including the Calgary Centennials when they were owned by former Estevan Bruins’ owner Scotty Munro.

The arena in Okotoks, Alta., is named for his family due to their contributions to sport in that city.