Former NHL coach and general manager Bryan Murray, who spent time with five different teams in his career, died of colon cancer on Saturday. He also was GM of Anaheim, Florida and Detroit and coached Washington, Detroit, Florida, Anaheim and Ottawa.
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.
Most recently, Murray served as a special adviser to Senators GM Pierre Dorion after stepping down as Ottawa GM in April 2016 to focus on his health and to spend time with his family.
“Bryan Murray’s strength and character were reflected in the teams he coached and the teams he built over decades of front office excellence”.
Murray announced that he was battling Stage 4 colon cancer in November 2014. While his warmth and dry sense of humor were always evident, they were accompanied by the fiery competitiveness and determination that were his trademarks.
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.
The Capitals’ existence had been one of misery before they promoted Murray, then 38, from Hershey of the American Hockey League early in the 1981-82 season. Our condolences go out to his family and friends for their loss.
He was hired as coach and general manager in 1990 after the Red Wings missed the playoffs and GM Jimmy Devellano was reassigned as senior vice president while Jacques Demers was sacked as head coach. “My gut tells me that Bryan Murray’s the guy that’s going to bring the Capitals out of their doldrums”. After graduating from McGill, Murray worked as a high school teacher. “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”.
Murray is survived by his wife, Geri, and daughters Heide and Brittany.