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Success has followed Murrays during NHL careers

Thursday, 03.25.2010 / 8:26 PM / NHL Insider

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Success has followed Murrays during NHL careers
Bryan Murray and Terry Murray have achieved more than their fair share of success over the course of their respective NHL careers.

They've combined for more than 1,000 wins as coaches, and that victory total only increases once you add in Bryan's tenure as GM with four clubs. There have been division titles and trips to the Stanley Cup Final.

There was even the time, back in 1990, when Bryan was fired as coach of the Washington Capitals … only to be replaced by Terry, who had served as his assistant and then as coach of the Capitals' AHL affiliate.

"When I was being replaced, I remember saying to (then GM) David Poile -- and Dave and I have had a great relationship for all these years -- but I said, ‘Firing me wasn't a smart move today, but hiring Terry was a smart move,'" Bryan said Thursday, when he and Terry made separate guest appearances on the "NHL Hour With Gary Bettman."

"So I appreciated that, that they gave him a chance, and he of course has done a heck of a job during his career."

Bryan quickly resurfaced as coach of the Detroit Red Wings, which led to the first of numerous head-to-head matches between the brothers.

"That was a big thing and certainly the family had lots of fun with it," Bryan recalled. "Now it's sort of old hat, and he's just another guy we'd like to beat as we go down the road."

With Bryan now the GM of the Ottawa Senators and Terry the coach of the Los Angeles Kings, the only way their teams will face off again this season would be if their teams meet in the Stanley Cup Final.

Entering Thursday's action, both teams appeared to be in good shape to at least make the playoffs. Following a slump coming out of the Olympic break, the Senators have won two in a row and held an eight-point lead over the ninth-place Thrashers in the Eastern Conference race. Meanwhile, the Kings sat a comfortable fifth in the West and were closing in on their first postseason berth since 2002.

Terry Murray admitted to being "a little surprised by the way things have come together" after the Kings finished 34-37-11 and out of the playoffs in his first season with Los Angeles.

"It's such a young hockey club that coming out of the season last year we were very excited, but maybe the expectations were to be in the race at this time, but here we are in pretty good position," he said. "I think a lot of that credit goes to the young players, the way they have grown this year, the attention to detail, the way they've come to work to practice every day to push their game to the next level."

As the Kings embark on their final 10 regular-season games, Terry said his players should enjoy the excitement of the stretch run to the playoffs.

"This is why we become hockey players," he said. "This is why we go through the decision to become a hockey player as a young kid and go through all the early mornings of practice and through junior and get into the pro ranks. This is what it's all about, the excitement, the interest, the desperation that's needed to play and be successful every night."

While Terry has spent his post-playing career to this point behind the bench, as well as some work as a pro scout, Bryan has shifted back and forth between coach and GM roles. In fact, after taking over briefly in the late '90s as interim coach of the Florida Panthers, he moved back upstairs after hiring Terry to go behind the bench full-time. Terry proceeded to lead the Panthers to their best season with 98 points in 1999-00 -- the last time the franchise made it to the postseason.

Bettman asked Bryan Murray which job he preferred, GM or coach.

"Mainly coaching, obviously being connected with the young players of today and certainly the emotion of the game, being involved in all the day-to-day, game-to-game, period-to-period situations, I guess. That's the fun part," he said.

"The good part about managing, of course, is you get a chance to be involved in what really happens and the decisions that go on in the National Hockey League."






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