Bryan Murray, longtime hockey coach and GM, dies of colon cancer

Lynette Rowe
August 13, 2017

Beloved hockey leader and former Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray died Saturday morning at the age of 74 after battling stage 4 colon cancer since 2014.

"As we mourn Bryan's passing, we celebrate his many contributions to the game - as well as his courage".

Bryan Murray, a former National Hockey League coach and general manager with five different teams in his career, died of colon cancer on Saturday. He retained that role until stepping down after the 2015-16 season.

During his final two seasons behind the bench, Murray became the first Red Wings coach since Tommy Ivan (1950-51, 1951-52) to produce back-to-back 40-win seasons.

He also served as GM for the Red Wings, Panthers, Mighty Ducks and Senators. Murray led the Senators to the 2007 Stanley Cup finals, where they lost in five games to the Anaheim Ducks.

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The Red Wings organization would like to extend its deepest condolences to the Ottawa Senators organization and all of Murray's family and friends during this most hard time. "My thoughts and prayers are with his family who I was lucky to meet many of and spend time with".

A graduate of McGill University with a degree in physical education, Murray returned to Shawville to work as a phys-ed teacher at the local high school where he also coached minor hockey. He was sacked midway through the 1989-90 season and would resurface in Detroit the following fall.

Murray coached the Red Wings from 1990-93, compiling a 124-91-29 record and leading the Red Wings to the 1991-92 Norris Division championship. 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. The next year, he led the Capitals to their first playoff appearance.

"I talked to hockey people all over the country, then I met [Murray] yesterday for the first time", the Capitals' owner told The Washington Post's Bob Fachet upon hiring Murray, then 38, in November 1981. He began as a part-time coach with the Pembroke Lumber Kings before moving to the Western Hockey League and the Regina Pats, winning the Memorial Cup with them in 1980.

After firing head coach Doug MacLean, Murray took over behind the Panthers bench for the remainder of the 1997-98 season before hiring Terry as head coach the following season. 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. "So if you can help, whether through a message you make or through your organization to help people, there's so many people affected, so many young people affected".

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