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Bryan Murray named to Senators Ring of Honour

Former Ottawa coach, general manager called 'one of the great legacies of the franchise'

by Chris Stevenson / Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Bryan Murray will be the first member of the Ottawa Senators Ring of Honour, Senators owner Eugene Melnyk announced Friday.

Murray has been with the Senators since 2004 as a coach, general manager and his current role as senior hockey adviser. He will be honored Jan. 24 when the Senators play the Washington Capitals; Murray got his first NHL job when he was hired as Capitals coach in 1981.

"The importance of the Senators organization in this city, to be recognized in this way, is very special," Murray said. "I've been in the business a long time and I've had a lot of great people around me, and you have to have that if you're ever going to be recognized for anything. It's real special, especially in Ottawa and so close to my hometown."

Murray, a 74-year-old native of Shawville, Quebec, was a GM in the NHL for 22 seasons, with the Florida Panthers, Detroit Red Wings, Anaheim Ducks and Senators. The Panthers and Ducks advanced to the Stanley Cup Final in 1996 and 2003, respectively.

He had a 107-55-20 record in three seasons as coach of the Senators, guiding them to the 2007 Stanley Cup Final. He was GM from 2007 until May, when he transitioned into his senior adviser job so he could spend more time with his family.

Murray was diagnosed with terminal Stage 4 colon cancer in June 2014 but said treatments have been successful.

"I feel good for the most part," he said. "I've been very fortunate. Everything is stable at this point in time. I wasn't given this good news at the beginning, but now it seems like things are holding stable, so you might have to put up with me for a lot longer."

The Ring of Honour, established by the Senators Player Honouring Committee, will be located on the 300 level of Canadian Tire Centre.

"In my books, he is one of the easiest to pick for the Ring of Honour," Melnyk said. "Right now there is no No. 2. He is certainly the best GM we've had. I think Bryan Murray is going to be seen, looking backwards, as one of the great legacies of the franchise. We went through a lot, good times, bad times, but at the end of the day he is as professional and stoic as it takes to be a good GM. He could handle pressure, but he could also enjoy the victories, which is great."

Former Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson will have his No. 11 retired by the Senators on Dec. 29 and will become the first Ottawa player in the modern era to be so honored.

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