Murray was the second general manager in team history, taking over for Bobby Clarke after the inaugural season ended in 1994 and oversaw a Florida team which shocked the sports world by making it to the Finals in just its third year of existence. "While his warmth and dry sense of humor were always evident, they were accompanied by the fiery competitiveness and determination that were his trademarks".
"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.
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. "We extend our honest condolences to his wife, Geri, daughters, Heide and Brittany and the entire Murray family on their loss". Despite being swept by the Colorado Avalanche, he was later selected as NHL Executive of the Year. "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". Murray was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer in 2014 that spread into his liver and lungs.
"That was", Murray said last season, "as much fun as any of us had in hockey".
Murray, who died of colon cancer at his Ottawa home on Saturday morning at the age of 74, was a hockey man through and through, with a super-sensitive b.s. meter for all the nonsense in the game and a willingness to speak his mind.
Besides coaching the Capitals, Murray was behind the bench of the Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Anaheim Mighty Ducks and Ottawa Senators where he served as both head coach and general manager. There are a lot of really good GMs. When his fellow GMs honored him at their annual March meeting in 2015, nephew Tim Murray and others said they went to get a colonoscopy after learning about Bryan's diagnosis. Shortly after, Murray became the GM of the Ducks from 2002-2004.
"Let's go to extra overtime and keep playing like the game we played against the Islanders many years ago and we went to four overtime periods", Murray said at the time.
Murray coached a whopping 1,239 NHL games during his 35 years with the league. "He will be forever remembered by all he touched". Bryan shaped the lives and careers of countless players. He was behind the bench when the Wings were stunned in the first round of the 1993 playoffs by the Leafs in a seven-game series ended by Nikolai Borschevsky's overtime victor. He won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's top coach in 1983-84 after leading Washington to the first of three straight 100-point seasons. Bryan devoted an incredible life to the sport, and his presence will be deeply missed. "We extend our honest condolences to his wife, Geri, daughters, Heide and Brittany and the entire Murray family on their loss".
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