Former NHL coach and general manager Bryan Murray has died of colon cancer. He was 74-years-old and passed away due to complications from colon cancer.
“Bryan was one of the greatest men that the game of hockey has ever known and also a great father, mentor and teacher,” Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said. “We extend our sincere condolences to his wife, Geri, daughters, Heide and Brittany and the entire Murray family on their loss.”
Murray began his coaching career in the CJHL with the Pembroke Lumber Kings, where he was eventually offered a coaching gig with the WHL’s Regina Pats. He took them to the Memorial Cup and subsequently made his way to the Hershey Bears in the AHL, where he was promoted to the head coach slot and ultimately called up to the Washington Capitals in the NHL.
Murray served as coach of the Capitals for seven full seasons and they made the post-season each year. He won the Jack Adams in 1984, but was fired in 1989-1990 and joined the Detroit Red Wings. He was also named general manager of the team and remained in Michigan for three seasons, once again leading the team to the playoffs in ever season.
Next up, Murray joined the expansion Florida Panthers. He took them to the Finals in 1996 and was named NHL Executive of the Year.
The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim were next on the list and Murray first served as head coach in 2001-2002 before serving as general manager for the two following seasons. After a reasonable tenure in California, he resigned and moved to Ottawa to become head coach of the Senators.
By 2007, Murray was promoted to general manager of the Senators. He swept in and out of the head coaching gig for some time in Ottawa and pulled the team through some serious rough patches. He stepped down as general manager in April of 2016 due to his health concerns, but he remained with the club as a special adviser to Pierre Dorion.
In January of 2017, Murray was inducted to the Senators Ring of Honour.
“Bryan Murray’s strength and character were reflected in the teams he coached and the teams he built over decades of front office excellence,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “While his warmth and dry sense of humor were always evident, they were accompanied by the fiery competitiveness and determination that were his trademarks. As we mourn Bryan’s passing, we celebrate his many contributions to the game, as well as his courage. The National Hockey League family sends our deepest condolences, comfort and support to Bryan’s family, his many friends and all whose lives he influenced.”