Bryan Murray, former Washington Capitals coach, dies at 74

Doug Mendoza
August 13, 2017

Murray had been battling with colon cancer for the past two and a half years. Murray would spend nine seasons in Washington, coaching the Caps seven playoff appearances.

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. He quit both jobs in 2004 and finished his career with the Senators, coaching there for three seasons before becoming full-time general manager.

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

"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.

After attending Macdonald College, a branch of McGill University, he began coaching in the junior ranks of professional hockey and won a minor-league coach-of-the-year award with the Hershey Bears. He was beloved in the hockey community will be missed.

He was named National Hockey League coach of the year with the Capitals in 1983-1984.

Murray spent one year behind the bench with the Ducks before taking on the role of general manager.

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Murray was also Ottawa's head coach from 2005-06 through 2007-08, leading the team to the Stanley Cup Final in 2007.

"Bryan, by education, is and was, a teacher", Poile said in 2015. He always thought about you as more than just a player.

Smith said in many ways some of his fondest memories of Murray are from the time he stepped down as GM and took on an advisory role. He never once complained about what he was going through.

"Some that don't know him would say he's a little sarcastic from time to time". He was appointed the sixth general manager in team history on June 18, 2007, a position he had until moving into the role of senior hockey advisor prior to the 2016-17 season.

It was his way of staying in the game he loved, but also wanting to devote more time to his family.

"Bryan Murray was a great teammate and very important to this franchise in its early days. Hopefully this will help". Murray was inducted into the Senators' Ring of Honour this past January. "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".

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