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Former Red Wings coach Bryan Murray dies of cancer at 74

13 August 2017, 01:25 | Pamela Mathis

Former Red Wings coach Bryan Murray dies of cancer at 74

Former Red Wings coach Bryan Murray dies of cancer at 74

After six and a half years with the Panthers Murray was let go as general manager, but like so many times before he quickly rebounded and landed in Anaheim as head coach of the Ducks.

"I talked to hockey people all over the country, then I met [Murray] yesterday for the first time", the Capitals' owner told The Washington Post's Bob Fachet upon hiring Murray, then 38, in November 1981.

Murray remains the Capitals' all-time leader for most regular-season games coached (672), the most regular-season game wins (343), the most regular-season points (769), the most playoff games coached (53), and the most playoff-game wins (24). Murray remained in Detroit as general manager for the 1993-94 season.

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. In his second year as Sens coach in 2005-06, the Senators finished the season with a 52-21-9 record.

After Jim Devellano was promoted to vice president of the Red Wings in 1990, Bryan Murray was named general manager and the pair presided over NHL Entry Drafts that saw the organization add several key components to the team's Stanley Cup championships in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008, including Slava Kozlov (1990), Martin Lapointe (1991), Chris Osgood (1991) and Darren McCarty (1992).

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

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A native of Shawville, Quebec and one of 10 children, Murray announced that he had Stage 4 colon cancer that spread into his liver and lungs in 2014. The Capitals won 39 games, 12 more than their previous high, and advanced to the playoffs for the first time, even taking a game from the mighty New York Islanders before succumbing to the eventual Stanley Cup champions in the Patrick Division semifinals. In 13 seasons as an National Hockey League coach, his teams went to the playoffs 12 times, and twice as a coach guided a team to the Stanley Cup Finals, though he would never win the Cup.

"I can't say enough about Bryan", said longtime Senator Mike Fisher. "He wanted what was best for you as a person".

"He would come in and just sit down with guys", he said. He never once complained about what he was going through.

"Bryan Murray was a great teammate and very important to this franchise in its early days".

One of the most respected and well-liked figures in hockey, Murray most recently served as general manager of the Senators from 2007-2016 before stepping down, citing health and family concerns. "Hopefully this will help". He was inducted into the Senators Ring of Honor on January 24.



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