Former Capitals Coach Bryan Murray Dies at 74

Gary Bettman releases statement on passing of Bryan Murray

Gary Bettman releases statement on passing of Bryan Murray

"The Anaheim Ducks family mourns the loss of Bryan Murray, who passed away this morning", the Ducks said in a statement.

One of 10 children born to Clarence and Rhoda Murray, Bryan Murray spent 35 consecutive years in the National Hockey League after becoming Washington's coach in 1981. The move did not work as Cornwall won the Memorial Cup the next day. Murray worked that season and another as general manager of the Senators, who confirmed his death Saturday. 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 Islanders before succumbing to the eventual Stanley Cup champions in the Patrick Division semifinals. He also served as GM for the Red Wings, Panthers, Ducks and Senators. 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.

Murray, who eventually made peace with the Panthers after he and his brother Terry were fired in 2000, died on Saturday after a long bout with colon cancer.

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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.

"Bryan Murray's strength and character were reflected in the teams he coached and the teams he built over decades of front office excellence", Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.

Murray also coached the team for a time.

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"While his warmth and dry sense of humor were always evident, they were accompanied by the fiery competitiveness and determination that were his trademarks", Bettman said. 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.

Murray served as general manager in Anaheim, Florida, Detroit and Ottawa and coached in Washington, Detroit, Florida, Anaheim and Ottawa.

While serving as general manager of the Ottawa Senators in July 2014, Murray learned he had Stage 4 colon cancer that had been present in his body for seven to 10 years, according to doctors. He was inducted into the Senators Ring of Honor on January 24. He said Bryan Murray was as complete a hockey man as there is. In his second year as Sens coach in 2005-06, the Senators finished the season with a 52-21-9 record.

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