Brian Murphy, who grew up in downtown Dover, spent 32 years as an official in the National Hockey League. He is one of just a handful of men to officiate more than 2,000 games in the NHL and one of just two Americans.
Murphy was a player himself growing up, a goalie for Dover Youth Hockey and Dover High School, and enrolled at the University of New Hampshire in the fall of 1983. His officiating career began at this time working local youth, adult and eventually New Hampshire high school games.
He credits his former high school hockey coach, Dan Raposa, for being a major influence in his officiating journey. Raposa, who was at the time a USA Hockey and Hockey East referee, got him started and helped him get into the USA Hockey development program.
In the 1986-87 season he started working lines in Hockey East where NHL officiating boss John McCauley and Bryan Lewis ultimately “discovered” him. He made his debut as an NHL linesman on Oct. 7, 1988 during a Pittsburgh Penguins-Washington Capitals game in Landover, Md.
Since that time he has been selected to work nine Stanley Cup Finals (including two game 7s), the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the World Cup of Hockey in 2004 and ‘16, and the Winter Classic that was played at Fenway Park on New Year’s Day in 2010.
Murphy finished his officiating career having worked nine Stanley Cup Finals:
1995: New Jersey versus Detroit
1996: Colorado versus Florida
2002: Detroit versus Carolina
2003: New Jersey versus Anaheim
2004: Tampa Bay versus Calgary
2013: Chicago versus Boston
2015: Chicago versus Tampa Bay
2016: Pittsburgh versus San Jose
2017: Pittsburgh versus Nashville
In addition to significant games worked as an official, Murphy’s other legacy is the hundreds of officials he has mentored, instructed and introduced to the game. Many are now the next generation of U.S.-born officials working with their mentor in the NHL.
For his service to USA Hockey, Murphy was awarded the 2019 Distinguished Achievement Award, just months after celebrating his 2000th NHL regular-season game at the TD Garden.
He was also voted by his peers to serve on the NHL Official Association executive board from 1994-99, and 2004-13, when he held the position of the NHLOA president for eight years (2005-2013).
In May of 2020, Murphy was named the supervisor of men’s officials for the Hockey East Association, where he once worked as an official.