Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Former Regina Pats head coach Bryan Murray passes away at 74

Former Regina Pats head coach Bryan Murray passes away at 74

Abe Pollin had never met Bryan Murray before he hired him to be the Washington Capitals' eighth coach in eight seasons.

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

Longtime NHL coach and GM Bryan Murray died Saturday, the NHL confirmed, after a long battle with colon cancer during which he became a passionate spokesman for awareness and prevention of the disease. Named the Ducks' fifth head coach in 2001-02, he spent one season behind the Anaheim bench before assuming the role of general manager from 2002 to 2004. He has also served in the role of general manager with the Detroit Red Wings (1990 to 1994) and the Florida Panthers (1994 to 2000). 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.

Later, he coached the to a Senators to a Stanley Cup final appearance in 2017. After graduating from McGill, Murray worked as a high school teacher. He broke into coaching with the Pembroke Lumber Kings of the Central Junior Hockey League, and was soon offered a head coaching position with the AHL's Regina Pats.

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Murray began coaching with the Washington Capitals in the 1981-82 season, and was with the team until being fired midway through the 1989-90 campaign and replaced by his bother Terry.

Murray coached the Red Wings from 1990-93, compiling a 124-91-29 record and leading the Red Wings to the 1991-92 Norris Division championship. He remains the team's all-time leader for most regular-season games coached (672) and most regular-season game wins (343).

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

Murray was the head coach of the Bears in 1980-81, helping lead Hershey to a playoff appearance.

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In his decorated career, Murray also garnered a number of personal awards. He was also the coach that started the Wings' 25-season playoff streak, which ended last season.

On January 24, Murray was inducted into the Senators Ring of Honour; he's also a member of the organization's Hall of Fame.

"The ultimate achievement in sport is to be recognized at the very top of the game and I know that winning a Cup is the ultimate goal for all of us and it's a great achievement, but I think when you help develop people, influence people, do things for the game, in the game, be involved in your community those are all things that are ... maybe just as important", he said.

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