Mur­ray re­mem­bered as great com­mu­ni­ca­tor, valiant fighter

EX-NHL coach, GM Bryan Mur­ray dies at 74

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY LISA WAL­LACE

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.”

CP FILE PHOTO

Bryan Mur­ray

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