Longtime NHL coach, GM Bryan Murray dies at 74 of cancer

10:45am

"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. Murray would spend nine seasons in Washington, coaching the Caps seven playoff appearances. Bryan's contributions to the game of hockey were outstanding, from his impact in Washington to his more recent service as a senior hockey advisor with the Ottawa Senators.

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. In Murray's four years behind the Senators bench, he led the franchise to four consecutive playoff berths.

Murray's 620 National Hockey League victories during the regular season as a head coach rank 12th all time amongst coaches, and took his teams to the Stanley Cup Playoffs 12 times out of 13 years.

"He sort of tried to take the pressure off the team by doing stuff and yelling and screaming at the referees and having fun with them to alleviate some of the pressure that we had", Laughlin said. Since then he had been Ottawa's general manager and an adviser last season, stepping down because of his health.

"Bryan, by education, is and was, a teacher", Poile said in 2015.

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"To this day, he is the best hockey scout I have ever seen". He knows how to communicate with them.

"Some that don't know him would say he's a little sarcastic from time to time". He gets them motivated. "He was just an unbelievable guy where as a player you could sit down and have a beer with your coach and talk hockey, talk family, talk sports, talk anything and he was a guy that was there for you".

The native of Shawville, Que., won the Jack Adams award as coach of the year in 1984 with Washington, and Executive of the Year in 1996 as GM of a young Panthers team that reached the Cup final. Following his days with the Red Wings, Murray served as general manager for the Florida Panthers (1993-00), Anaheim Mighty Ducks (2002-04) and Ottawa Senators (2007-16) and also had stints serving as head coach for each team, ultimately finishing his head coaching career with a 620-465-131-23 record.

Murray announced in 2014 that he had Stage 4 colon cancer that had spread to his liver and lungs.

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. "Let's just keep it going as long as we can, be as healthy as we can for that time, and enjoy what we have as we do it". "We extend our honest condolences to his wife, Geri, daughters, Heide and Brittany and the entire Murray family on their loss".

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