Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Gary Bettman releases statement on passing of Bryan Murray

Gary Bettman releases statement on passing of Bryan Murray

Bryan Murray, the veteran National Hockey League coach and general manager who led the Ottawa Senators to a Stanley Cup final appearance in 2007, has died. "He was a great father, mentor and teacher", said in a press release the owner of the ontario, Eugene Melnyk, who has offered his condolences to the relatives of the deceased.

Murray coached 1,239 regular-season and 112 playoff games over parts of 18 seasons.

"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.

Known throughout the hockey world for his quick, acerbic wit, sharp eye for talent and vast knowledge of the game, Murray also had tremendous communication skills and put those to use after his cancer diagnosis in imploring people to get a colonoscopy.

In 1998, South Florida coaches Jimmy Johnson, Pat Riley, Jim Leyland and Bryan Murray stand together with 10-year-old Michael Fernandez at the fifth annual Make-a-Wish Foundation of South Florida Sports Banquet & Memorabilia Auction at the Signature Grand in Davie. Murray would spend nine seasons in Washington, coaching the Caps seven playoff appearances. He went on to coach the Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Anaheim Ducks and Ottawa Senators, located about an hour southeast of Murray's Quebec hometown.

"He is a top 10 coach, a top 10 GM and he could have been a top 10 talent evaluator if that's the role he had have wanted to take, except that he loved coaching so much", Tim Murray, who was sacked by the Sabres in April, said.

Ironically, it was Getzlaf and Perry as promising second-year players that would help deny Murray a Cup in 2007 when the Ducks won in five games with the personable, competitive coach behind the Senators bench.

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Trading barbs with referees was a particular habit of Murray's, though it had a goal.

Tributes to Murray poured out on Twitter after his death was announced.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Murray family", Senators captain Erik Karlsson tweeted.

RIP Bryan Murray, you will be missed.

"We have high profiles", Murray said at a 2015 dinner held in his honor. "Touched a lot of lives".

Laughlin said Murray was one of the first player-friendly coaches at a time when others were "flexing their muscles" as strict tacticians. "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 said he wanted his legacy to be cancer awareness. 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.

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