Bryan Murray (1942 - 2017)
By: Legacy Staff
11 months ago
Bryan Murray, a longtime NHL coach and general manager, died Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017, of colon cancer, according to multiple news sources. He was 74.
In a career that spanned three decades, Murray held positions with the Washington Capitals, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, and Ottawa Senators. Although he found success at each stop, winning the Stanley Cup eluded him.
He was an unlikely candidate for top jobs in the NHL. He never played professional hockey and began coaching part-time while working as a high school teacher. After working his way up to head coach of Hershey Bears, a minor league affiliate of the Washington Capitals, he was tapped in 1981 to become their head coach.
Over the course of nine seasons, he led Washington to seven playoff appearances but was unable to get them past the second round. After being fired during a difficult 1989-90 season, he was recruited by the Detroit Red Wings, who made him head coach and general manager.
He coached the Red Wings for three winning seasons, stepping aside for legendary coach Scotty Bowman while remaining general manager for one more season. He then became general manager for the expansion Florida Panthers, who he built into a contender, playing for the Stanley Cup in only their third season. In Anaheim he coached for one season, and as general manager again built the club into a Stanley Cup contender.
He then moved back near his hometown of Shawville, Quebec, and coached the Ottawa Senators. In 2007 he reached the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time as a head coach, but the Senators lost in five games to his former team, the Anaheim Ducks.
He amassed 620 wins as a head coach, ranking 12th on the all-time wins chart. He won the Jack Adams coach of the year award in 1984 and was inducted into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.
“While his warmth and dry sense of humor were always evident, they were accompanied by the fiery competitiveness and determination that were his trademarks,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.
Murray is survived by his wife, Geri, and daughters Heide and Brittany.
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