Long-time NHL coach and executive Bryan Murray has passed away following a long battle with cancer, the Senators announced. Team owner Eugene Melnyk released a statement on Murray’s passing:
“Bryan was one of the greatest men that the game of hockey has ever known and also a great father, mentor and teacher. We extend our sincere condolences to his wife, Geri, daughters, Heide and Brittany and the entire Murray family on their loss.”
Murray began his coaching career with Washington in the 1981-82 season, compiling a 343-246-83 record over 672 games over parts of nine seasons with the club. He then moved behind the bench of the Red Wings in 1990-91 for three years while also serving as their general manager for four seasons.
Following his time in Detroit, Murray was tagged as the inaugural GM in Florida in 1994, earning NHL Executive of the Year honors in 1996 when the Panthers surprised virtually everyone by making it to the Stanley Cup Final in only their third season of existence. He stayed with Florida until 2000 (while taking on an interim head coaching stint in 1997-98). After that, Murray moved onto Anaheim for three seasons starting in 2001-02, splitting his time once again between coaching (one year) and being the GM (two years).
Murray was most recently known for his time with Ottawa, an organization he joined in 2004 and worked with until today. He had two separate stints as head coach while also serving as GM from 2008 through 2016 before stepping aside due to the cancer. He had been serving as a Senior Advisor with the Senators since then. Back in January, the Senators made Murray the inaugural member of their Ring of Honour. He was also inducted into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.
Overall, he coached parts of 17 NHL seasons, with his teams going 620-465-131-23 over that span. His teams made 13 playoff appearances (including one Stanley Cup Final) while Murray won the Jack Adams Award (Coach of the Year) in 1983-84.
Everyone here at PHR extends their thoughts and condolences to the Murray family.