Gary Bettman releases statement on passing of Bryan Murray

Gary Bettman releases statement on passing of Bryan Murray

Former Red Wings coach Bryan Murray dies of cancer at 74

The Ottawa Senators, along with the entire hockey community, mourn the loss of Bryan Murray, who passed away this morning at the age of 74, surrounded by his family and friends. He worked in the league in some capacity for 35 consecutive seasons.

After being diagnosed with cancer in the summer of 2014, and in typical Bryan Murray fashion, he unselfishly confirmed his own medical situation with the public along with the powerful message of "get checked", hoping to help others with the early detection of colon cancer - a message that has undoubtedly saved countless others from the same diagnosis. Murray coached for 18 seasons in the National Hockey League, while amassing 620 victories, and worked as the GM for the Red Wings, Panthers, Mighty Ducks and Senators. The following season Murray coached 13 games for the Bears before being promoted to the Washington Capitals' head coaching job, taking over for Gary Green.

During his final two seasons behind the bench, Murray became the first Red Wings coach since Tommy Ivan (1950-51, 1951-52) to produce back-to-back 40-win seasons.

In Murray's nine seasons as Ottawa's general manager, the Senators made the postseason on six occasions.

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Murray, who led the Senators to the Stanley Cup final as the club's head coach in 2006-07, and then took over the job as general manager until he handed over the reins to Pierre Dorion in April, 2016 left a mark on the hockey world and will never be forgotten. Murray was behind the bench when the Red Wings' 25-season playoff streak began in 1991.

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

"Bryan, by education, is and was, a teacher", Poile said in 2015.

Murray is survived by his wife, Geri, and daughters Heide and Brittany. He knows the X's and O's of the game of hockey really well and I don't think there's anyone who will dispute that. He knows how to communicate with them.

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"Some that don't know him would say he's a little sarcastic from time to time".

Murray stepped down as the team's GM previous year to battle the disease, becoming a senior hockey advisor for the Senators.

A proud native of Shawville, Que., Murray was originally hired by Ottawa as the fifth head coach in franchise history on June 8, 2004. "Let's just keep it going as long as we can, be as healthy as we can for that time, and enjoy what we have as we do it".

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