The Daily Gazette
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Murley talks about leaving

Troy native Matt Murley said the decision to leave his family, friends and team behind was one of the hardest he's ever had to make.

"It's tough," Murley said this afternoon. "I wanted to play in Albany in front of my family and friends and with the guys, so it's tough leaving them. But, I have to take care of myself first.

"It's a life experience. I get to see another part of the world and play in a league that's really good. I think it's the next step to take in my career."

Murley -- or Матт Мерлей in Russian -- will join the Kontinental Hockey League's Khabarovsk Amur, a team located in the far Eastern part of the country. "It's a long ways away," Murley said.

Amur is already 15 games into its regular-season schedule. It ranks 21st in the 24-team league with 12 points (3 wins, 1 shootout win and 1 shootout loss to go with 12 regulation losses). There are two other North Americans on the club: Canadians Kyle Wanvig, a forward, and goalie Tyler Moss, who played 11 games for the defunct Glens Falls-based Adirondack Red Wings in 1996-97.

Murley nearly signed in Russia over the summer, but got a last-minute deal from the Carolina Hurricanes three days before training camp. He said the team began courting him again over the weekend.

"It developed probably five days ago," Murley said. "It came up real quick. It just happened, and I ran with it. I had a chance to go over there, and it's something I really wanted to do. It's a great league, a league comparable to the NHL. I'm taking the opportunity."

Like the rest of the Rats, Cohoes native Marc Cavosie, Murley's former RPI teammate, was stunned by the news.

"I know over the summer he was looking into it," Cavosie said. "I really didn't know he was still pursuing it. He obviously feels it was the best decision for him. We all have the goal to make the NHL, but at some point you have to start thinking about the rest of your life. There's a ton of different roads you can take, and this is the one he feels, obviously, is best for him. I wish him the best and I reallly hope it works out for him. Here in Albany, all we can do is hope the best for him, pick up the pieces and fill the void he left."

Since they signed Murley to a contract, Carolina has referred the matter to the NHL. Canes' spokesman Mike Sundheim said the club is unable to comment on the matter; still waiting to hear from the NHL.

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