OTTAWA - The Ottawa Senators, along with the entire hockey community, mourn the loss of Bryan Murray, who passed away this morning at the age of 74, surrounded by his family and friends.
Murray spent the last 35 years in the National Hockey League, including 18 seasons and 1,239 games behind the bench as head coach (he sits 12th in all-time wins, with 620) and 22 seasons as a general manager.
A proud native of Shawville, Que., Murray was originally hired by Ottawa as the fifth head coach in franchise history on June 8, 2004. In two-plus seasons at the helm, he compiled a 107-55-20 record. In 2007, he led Ottawa to its first appearance in a Stanley Cup Final. He was appointed the sixth general manager in team history on June 18, 2007, a position he had until moving into the role of senior hockey advisor prior to the 2016-17 season.
Prior to arriving in Ottawa, Murray served as the Anaheim Ducks' senior vice-president and general manager where he helped transform the Ducks into Western Conference Champions in 2002-03. Named the Ducks' fifth head coach in 2001-02, he spent one season behind the Anaheim bench before assuming the role of general manager from 2002 to 2004. He has also served in the role of general manager with the Detroit Red Wings (1990 to 1994) and the Florida Panthers (1994 to 2000).
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. He won the Jack Adams Award in 1983-84, which is annually presented to the head coach who is deemed to have contributed the most to his team's success.
A former student of Macdonald College at McGill University, Murray spent four years as the athletic director and coach at the school. He coached five years in the Central Junior Hockey League with Pembroke and Rockland before becoming head coach of the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League. In 1979-80, he led the Pats to the WHL championship. Murray then took over as coach of the American Hockey League's Hershey Bears the following season.
After being diagnosed with cancer in the summer of 2014, and in typical Bryan Murray fashion, he unselfishly confirmed his own medical situation with the public along with the powerful message of "get checked", hoping to help others with the early detection of colon cancer - a message that has undoubtedly saved countless others from the same diagnosis. He continued lend his time to the support cancer of research, both standardized and non-traditional in the years to follow.
In his decorated career, Murray also garnered a number of personal awards. On July 21, 2012, he was joined by his brother, Terry and his nephew, Tim, as an inaugural inductee on Shawville's Hockey Wall of Fame. On May 28, 2015, he was recognized with the United Way's prestigious Community Builder of the Year award and was inducted into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame on June 5, 2015. Additionally, Murray was one of 13 honourees to compose the 2015 class of the Washington D.C. Sports Hall of Fame.
Bryan is survived by his wife, Geri, his two daughters, Heide and Brittany, his grandchildren, family, friends, colleagues and students. His humor, wit, love and dedication will be missed by all who came in contact with him. Bryan Murray was truly one of a kind.
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