Gary Bettman releases statement on passing of Bryan Murray
Aug 13 2017 by Marjorie Miles
The Capitals had not been to the playoffs in their first eight years of existence before making seven consecutive postseason trips under Murray. 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.
"I talked to hockey people all over the country, then I met [Murray] yesterday for the first time", team owner Abe Pollin told The Washington Post's Bob Fachet upon hiring Murray in November 1981. "The GM part of it just came out of coaching". "As both head coach and general manager of the team (2001-2004), Bryan led our organization with class, dignity and charisma". Murray began his adult life as a gym teacher, and that translated well to coaching. He couldn't really get up and down the ice that well.
Murray also coached the team for a time.
Murray was the head coach of the Bears in 1980-81, helping lead Hershey to a playoff appearance.
In his 17 years as an National Hockey League head coach, Murray had 620 wins which places him 10th all-time.
Not only was Bryan Murray recognized for his work by Sens fans, he was known for his work league wide.
Trading barbs with referees was a particular habit of Murray's, though it had a objective. They had just one victory when he took over.
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Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher and assistant GM Brent Flahr, who worked with Murray in Florida, called him "a great friend and a mentor to many of us in this business".
Murray stepped down as the team's GM past year to battle the disease, becoming a senior hockey advisor for the Senators.
"My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Murray family", Senators captain Erik Karlsson tweeted.
RIP Bryan Murray, you will be missed.
"Let's go to extra overtime and keep playing like the game we played against the Islanders many years ago and we went to four overtime periods", Murray said at the time. "Touched a lot of lives".
Murray coached the Red Wings from 1990-93, compiling a 124-91-29 record and leading the Red Wings to the 1991-92 Norris Division championship.
Even opponents and rivals respected Murray, who said in 2014 he felt bad that he couldn't respond to colleagues' messages about his cancer diagnosis fast enough. "While his warmth and dry sense of humour were always evident, they were accompanied by the fiery competitiveness and determination that were his trademarks". 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.