Longtime NHL coach, GM Bryan Murray dead at 74

Cleveland Indians starter Carlos Carrasco pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Friday Aug. 11 2017 in St. Petersburg Fla

Besides coaching the Capitals, Murray was behind the bench of the Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Anaheim Mighty Ducks and Ottawa Senators where he served as both head coach and general manager. "While his warmth and dry sense of humour were always evident, they were accompanied by the fiery competitiveness and determination that were his trademarks".

There hasn't been a lot of newsworthy items in Sensland of late, and it is with a heavy heart that we learned of the passing of Bryan Murray at the age of 74. "The National Hockey League family sends our deepest condolences, comfort and support to Bryan's family, his many friends and all whose lives he influenced".

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.

My own came about 4 years ago, the only time I met the man. I'm a people person. After an internal debate about whether to approach him for a brief interview, I chose to go for it, and he accommodated me with a little Q & A during the first intermission of the game.

David Poile, the former Washington and current Nashville general manager, said Murray's teaching background made him a natural for coaching.

Pollin's gut was right. Former player Craig Laughlin described Murray as a players' coach with an old-school approach and a knack for managing personalities.

"He sort of tried to take the pressure off the team by doing stuff and yelling and screaming at the referees and having fun with them to alleviate some of the pressure that we had", Laughlin said. The move did not work as Cornwall won the Memorial Cup the next day.

"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. In Murray's four years behind the Senators bench, he led the franchise to four consecutive playoff berths.

"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. Murray has acted for some time as DG of the last three organizations.

The native of Shawville, Que., won the Jack Adams award as coach of the year in 1984 with Washington, and Executive of the Year in 1996 as GM of a young Panthers team that reached the Cup final.

The Ottawa Senators said in a statement Saturday he was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2014. There was no hope for a cure, only to prolong his life for as long as comfortably possible via chemotherapy. Murray had been battling with colon cancer for the past two and a half years. Our condolences go out to his family and friends for their loss.

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