Goaltender Mike Murphy says he is leaving the Carolina Hurricanes organization to play professional hockey in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). Murphy, 23, announced his intentions today via Twitter, saying he was "KHL/Russia bound next season." He later confirmed it, although the name of the KHL team has not been released. Murphy was drafted by the Canes in 2008 and spent the past three seasons in the American Hockey League -- the first season with the Albany River Rats and the past two with the Charlotte Checkers. The Kingston, Ont., native made his NHL debut -- and made NHL history -- this past season and played in two games with the Canes. Ron Francis, the Canes' director of hockey operations, said Murphy's decision took the team by surprise and called it disappointing. Murphy is a restricted free agent and his rights will be retained by the Hurricanes. Murphy was 18-15-2 with the Checkers this season, with a 2.74 goals-against average and .908 save percentage. Called up by the Canes in early December after goalie Brian Boucher was injured, Murphy made his NHL debut in relief of Cam Ward in a 7-6 loss to the Calgary Flames. Murphy, who did not allow a goal, was pulled for an extra attacker late in the game and was at the bench when Jarome Iginla scored an empty-net goal with 1:09 left in regulation to push the Flames' lead to 7-4. But the Canes' Chad LaRose and Eric Staal both scored in the final minute, making Iginla's goal the winner - and Murphy the losing goalie. Canes officials checked with the Elias Sports Bureau, which confirmed Murphy was the first NHL goalie to lose a game before allowing his first goal. Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/12/08/1697138/murphy-makes-history-in-debut.html#storylink=cpy
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