Former Red Wings Coach, GM Bryan Murray Dies

Ruben Hill
August 13, 2017

But Bryan's legacy goes far beyond his success on the ice, including his courageous fight with cancer and countless contributions to the communities he served. Murray had been battling with colon cancer for the past two and a half years. He retired from coaching after the 2007-2008 season, with a career record of 620 wins, 420 losses and 131 ties. Although the Senators had the superstar power of Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza on their roster that year with all three finishing with more than 90 points, Murray's coaching abilities still played a huge factor on their spectacular season.

Murray coached for 18 seasons in the National Hockey League with the Capitals, Detroit Red Wings, Panthers, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and the Senators. In 2007, he led Ottawa to its first appearance in a Stanley Cup Final. The Capitals won 39 games, 12 more than their previous high, and advanced to the playoffs for the first time, even taking a game from the mighty New York Islanders before succumbing to the eventual Stanley Cup champions in the Patrick Division semifinals. "My thoughts and prayers are with his family who I was lucky to meet many of and spend time with".

Murray was born in Shawville, Quebec, attending Macdonald College and working as a gym teacher and a motel operator.

The Capitals had led a miserable NHL existence over their first years in the league before they promoted Murray from Hershey of the American Hockey League early in the 1981-82 season. Though he failed to get past the second round in Detroit as well, Murray oversaw the beginning of the careers of future Hockey Hall of Famers Sergei Fedorov and Niklas Lidstrom.

After breaking into coaching - only on a part-time basis - with the Pembroke Lumber Kings of the Central Junior Hockey League, Murray was offered a head coaching role with the Western Hockey League's Regina Pats. He was also the coach that started the Wings' 25-season playoff streak, which ended last season.

After stepping down from his general manager position in 2016, he served alongside GM Pierre Dorion as a special adviser. Former player Craig Laughlin described Murray as a players' coach with an old-school approach and a knack for managing personalities.

In January, he became the first member of the Senators Ring of Honor. He remains the team's all-time leader for most regular-season games coached (672) and most regular-season game wins (343). "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".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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