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Bulletin: Senators extend the contract of general manager Bryan Murray

by Staff Writer / Ottawa Senators
OTTAWA - Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk today announced the team has extended the contract of general manager Bryan Murray by one year. Murray joined the Senators in June 2004 and spent three years as the team's head coach before being named general manager on June 18, 2007. Murray, who is the franchise’s sixth general manager, was appointed executive vice-president of Senators Sports & Entertainment on July 1, 2009.

“Bryan has proven that he is the right man to lead this team,” said Melnyk. "Our team is now in a position to not only be competitive each season, but also to contend for the Stanley Cup. Bryan and his staff have worked hard to build an organization that now has the depth at the National Hockey League level and in our farm system that should allow us to be competitive for many years to come. As we approach the trade deadline, playoffs and entry draft, we wanted to demonstrate our confidence in Bryan by extending his contract.”

In three years under Murray’s regime as general manager, the Senators have compiled a record of 113-88-23. Ottawa has won 13 of its last 14 games and has a 35-22-4 record, for 74 points and third in the Eastern Conference.

“My goal from the time I was appointed to this position was to continue the proud and winning history of this organization and to make it one of the top-tier organizations in the NHL,” said Murray. “I feel that we have moved this franchise into a strong position where we can challenge for the Stanley Cup each season, while at the same time we’re continuing to draft and develop top prospects who will help this team in the years to come. I look forward to the challenge in front of us, which is to bring a championship to the fans of Ottawa.”

Currently in his 29th consecutive NHL season, Murray was hired as the fifth head coach in Senators history on June 8, 2004. In two-plus seasons at the helm, Murray compiled a 107-55-20 record. In 2007, he led Ottawa to its first appearance in a Stanley Cup final series, losing in five games to the Anaheim Ducks. Murray returned to the head-coaching role with Ottawa on Feb. 27, 2008, relieving John Paddock, and posted a 7-9-2 record over the final 18 games of the 2007-08 regular season.

A native of Shawville, Que., Murray came to the Senators from Anaheim, where he served as senior vice-president and general manager with the Ducks. He was promoted to the posts in May of 2002 and went on to transform the Ducks into the Western Conference champion in 2002-03. Named the Ducks’ fifth head coach in 2001-02, he spent one season behind the Anaheim bench.

The 2009-10 season is Murray’s 15th as a general manager, after serving four years with the Detroit Red Wings from 1990 to 1994, six-plus seasons with the Florida Panthers from 1994 to 2000 and two seasons with Anaheim from 2002 to 2004.

Murray began his NHL coaching career with the Washington Capitals on Nov. 11, 1981. He remained at the helm of the Capitals for the next 8 ½ seasons. Beginning with his first full season behind the Washington bench, the club had winning records and averaged 95 points per season over the next seven years. Murray won the Jack Adams Award in 1983-84 as the NHL’s coach of the year.

His 17 years of coaching in the NHL, which also included seasons with Detroit and the Florida Panthers, see Murray ranked sixth in the NHL in all-time games coached (1,239) and sixth in wins (620). He coached his 1,000th NHL game with Anaheim on Nov. 28, 2001, and earned his 600th victory on Feb. 20, 2007, in a 4-3 Senators win over the Edmonton Oilers.

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