Sports

Gary Bettman releases statement on passing of Bryan Murray

Gary Bettman releases statement on passing of Bryan Murray

He found himself behind a bench of the league for 18 seasons and 1238 parties.

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. Murray posted a 124-91-29 record in three seasons as the team's head coach and captured a Norris Division title in 1991-92. In 2007 he reached the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time as a head coach, but the Senators lost in five games to his former team, the Anaheim Ducks.

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

"The consummate professional. That's what he was".

Most recently, Murray served as a special adviser to Senators GM Pierre Dorion after stepping down as Ottawa GM in April 2016 to focus on his health and to spend time with his family.

Along with coaching the Ducks (2001-02) and Ottawa (2005-08), Murray also helmed Washington (1981-89), Detroit (1990-93) and Florida (1997-98) as he compiled a 620-465-131-23 record in 1,239 games.

He won the Jack Adams Award as National Hockey League coach of the year with the Capitals in 1983-84 and reached the Stanley Cup Final with the Senators in 2007.

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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.

"As we mourn Bryan's passing, we celebrate his many contributions to the game - as well as his courage".

The Red Wings organization would like to extend its deepest condolences to the Ottawa Senators organization and all of Murray's family and friends during this most hard time.

But the Red Wings won just one playoff series under Murray - beating Minnesota in 1992 - and he was replaced by Scotty Bowman after Detroit was ousted by Toronto in seven games during the first round in 1993 after winning the first two games. "As both head coach and general manager of the team (2001-2004), Bryan led our organization with class, dignity and charisma".

David Poile, now Nashville's GM, inherited Murray as coach when he was GM of the Capitals and said he learned more from him than he taught. He then became general manager for the expansion Florida Panthers, who he built into a contender, playing for the Stanley Cup in only their third season.

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.


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