Murray remembered as great communicator, valiant fighter
EX-NHL coach, GM Bryan Murray dies at 74
Bryan Murray, an NHL coaching giant known for his rapier wit, acute hockey sense and, ultimately, courage in his fight against cancer, has died. He was 74.
The Ottawa Senators confirmed Murray’s death in a release on Saturday. The former NHL coach and general manager, who remained in the game until his death, had been fighting Stage 4 colon cancer for the past three years.
Murray received the cancer diagnosis in the summer of 2014, but he waged a valiant, public battle against the disease, remaining actively involved with the Senators as a senior adviser after stepping down as general manager after the 2015-16 season.
“I owe a lot to Bryan as he gave me a shot and he’s a big reason why I’m playing in the NHL, ” said Senators forward Zack Smith. “It was heartbreaking news to hear of his passing. He was always honest with guys and was just great to work with.”
“My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Murray family,” Senators captain Erik Karlsson added on Twitter. “Thank you for everything Bryan. You gave me the chance to be who I am today.”
Over his 35 years of working in the NHL, Murray won the Jack Adams award as NHL coach of the year in 1984 with the Washington Capitals and executive of the year as general manager of the Florida Panthers in 1993.
Later, he coached the Senators to a Stanley Cup final appearance in 2007. He coached 1,239 regular-season games over his NHL career, compiling a record of 620 wins (10th most in NHL history), 465 losses, 131 ties and 23 overtime losses.
“Bryan Murray’s strength and character were reflected in the teams he coached and the teams he built over decades of front office excellence,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “While his warmth and dry sense of humour were always evident, they were accompanied by the fiery competitiveness and determination that were his trademarks.
“As we mourn Bryan’s passing, we celebrate his many contributions to the game — as well as his courage. The National Hockey League family sends our deepest condolences, comfort and support to Bryan’s family, his many friends and all whose lives he influenced.”