Former Ducks coach, GM Bryan Murray succumbs to colon cancer

Bryan-Murray-FTR-081217-Getty

Murray had been battling with colon cancer for the past two and a half years. 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. He won the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year with the Capitals in 1983-84, guiding them to a 48-27-5 record.

He was also behind the bench of the Senators when they were defeated by Anaheim in 2007.

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

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. While Murray and the Bears lost in the second round, this led to him being hired as the head coach of the Washington Capitals in the 1981-82 season.

Murray led the Ottawa Senators to a Stanley Cup Final appearance the year after in 2006-07.

Murray was 74 years old. Murray worked that season and another as general manager of the Senators, who confirmed his death Saturday. "He was just an unbelievable guy where as a player you could sit down and have a beer with your coach and talk hockey, talk family, talk sports, talk anything and he was a guy that was there for you".

Tributes to Murray poured out on Twitter after his death was announced.

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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.

Murray was named the Senators head coach in 2005 and spent three seasons in that role before becoming the team's GM. "My best wishes, thoughts and prayers go out to his family", Panthers special adviser and alternate governor Bill Torrey said in a statement Saturday.

Murray said he wanted his legacy to be cancer awareness.

"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.

"He would come in and just sit down with guys", he said. During this time he would coach 672 games.

Murray went public with his diagnosis to encourage people to get colonoscopies and understand the importance of catching the disease as early as possible. "Hopefully this will help".

Among the many moves Murray made with the Panthers in his six-plus seasons: drafting Ed Jovanovski and Radek Dvorak; trading for Pavel Bure, Roberto Luongo and Olli Jokinen; and trading the likes of Dvorak, Jovanovski and Stu Barnes.

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