Ice Hockey Wiki

Bryan Murray

Bryan Clarence Murray (December 5, 1942 – August 12, 2017) was a Canadian professional ice hockey executive and coach. He served as general manager of the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League (NHL), from 2007 to 2016. He had previously been general manager of the NHL's Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Florida Panthers and Detroit Red Wings. He was also the head coach for the Washington Capitals, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, and Ottawa Senators, for a total of 17 full or partial seasons.

He had compiled over 600 NHL victories in regular season games.[1] In his 13 full NHL seasons as head coach, he has taken his teams to the playoffs 12 times. In other leagues, he had been the head coach of the American Hockey League's Hershey Bears and the Western Hockey League's Regina Pats.

Early life

Murray played hockey in his hometown of Shawville growing up, joining the Shawville Pontiacs intermediate club at age 14. He later joined the Rockland Nationals of the Central Junior Hockey League. He attended Macdonald College, a suburban campus of McGill University, which is located in Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec. He returned to Shawville and worked as a gym teacher. He then went into business buying a local motel.

Early coaching career

Murray began his coaching career as coach with the Rockland Nationals in 1976 when the team went all the way and won the Centennial Cup of the CJHL. He earned a good reputation as a coach and was offered a position with the Pembroke Lumber Kings, and then with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League. He left his business interests in the hands of family members, and moved west. He took Regina to the Memorial Cup in 1980. Murray then became head coach of the American Hockey League's Hershey Bears in 1980–81, and served in that role until he was promoted to head coach of Washington, Hershey's parent NHL team, partway through the next season, 1981–82.

NHL coach and general manager

In seven full seasons with Washington, Murray brought the team to the playoffs each year, and these playoff appearances were the first in franchise history. In his second year, the Capitals won their first playoff series. However, his teams did not advance beyond the second round. He won the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year in 1984.[2] Murray was fired partway through the 1989–1990 season, with the team struggling, and was replaced by his brother Terry Murray.

In 1990 Murray became coach and general manager of the Detroit Red Wings. The team had good results in his three seasons, making the playoffs each year, but not getting beyond the second round. Murray remained as general manager in 1993–94 after the team named Scotty Bowman as head coach. Murray departed the Red Wings following the season.

Murray was next appointed general manager of the expansion Florida Panthers in 1994. In 1996, the young Panthers made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, and Murray was selected as NHL Executive of the Year. Murray also coached the Panthers for part of the 1997–98 season.

He next joined the Anaheim Ducks as head coach for 2001–2002. From 2002–2004 Murray was general manager of the Mighty Ducks, and again saw his team quickly make a mark in the playoffs, reaching the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals. After a disappointing 2003–2004 season with the Mighty Ducks, he surprised many by deciding to resign from the GM post in Anaheim and move back to the Ottawa Valley, to become head coach of the Ottawa Senators.

On February 20, 2007, he became the fifth NHL coach to achieve 600 victories, in a shootout win against the Edmonton Oilers.[1] Despite this impressive number of victories (at the time the most among active NHL coaches), Murray never won a Stanley Cup. In his most recent trip to the Finals as head coach, in 2007, the Senators team that he coached lost in five games to his former club, the Anaheim Ducks. That was the only season in Murray's 17 years as an NHL head coach that his team advanced beyond the second playoff round.

With the firing of John Muckler on June 18, 2007, Murray was promoted to general manager of the Senators, while assistant coach John Paddock took over the club's head coaching duties. However, on February 27, 2008, following a 15–2 start which had briefly put Ottawa in first place in the Eastern Conference, Murray fired Paddock after the team struggled through a disastrous January and February. Murray stepped in as interim head coach for the remainder of the 2007–08 season, finishing with a 7-9-2 record, with the team ultimately finishing in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Ottawa was swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Craig Hartsburg was hired as the new coach of the team in June 2008. After the Senators struggled for most of the 2008–09 NHL season, Murray fired Hartsburg after a 7–4 loss in Washington. In 48 games as head coach of the Ottawa Senators, Hartsburg posted a 17–24–7 record. Cory Clouston, head coach of the AHL's Binghamton Senators, the team's top farm club, was hired as interim head coach, and Clouston was appointed as head coach on a two-year contract following the end of that season.

Murray signed a three-year contract extension as general manager on April 8, 2011.[3] He fired Clouston and two assistant coaches on April 9, 2011, following the Senators' last game.[4] The team had been beset by injuries to key players such as captain Daniel Alfredsson[5] and star forward Jason Spezza,[6] leading to a midseason collapse. Murray made a flurry of trades in 2011, after the Senators had fallen out of contention, and promoted many younger players from the team's Binghamton farm club.

In 2015, he was inducted to the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame.[7]

Personal life

Murray, one of ten children born to Clarence and Rhoda Murray, was born and raised in the small Ottawa Valley town of Shawville, Quebec, near Ottawa. He and his wife, Geri, have two daughters, Heide and Brittany.[8]

Bryan's younger brother, Terry Murray, was head coach for the Washington Capitals, Philadelphia Flyers, Florida Panthers and Los Angeles Kings. His nephew, Tim Murray, previously served under him as Assistant General Manager of the Senators, and later served as the General Manager of the Buffalo Sabres.

In July 2014, the Senators website announced Murray was diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing treatment.[9] On November 13, 2014, Murray announced he had Stage 4 colon cancer which had spread to his liver and lungs. He said "there is no cure for me at this point" and that he may have had cancer for up to ten years before its detection.[10][11]


On August 12, 2017, Murray died of colon cancer at age 74, three years after he was diagnosed.[12]

Coaching record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
G W L T OTL Pts Finish Result
WSH 1981–1982 66 25 28 13 (63) 5th in Patrick Missed playoffs
WSH 1982–1983 80 39 25 16 94 3rd in Patrick Lost in Division Semifinals
WSH 1983–1984 80 48 27 5 101 2nd in Patrick Lost in Division Finals
WSH 1984–1985 80 46 25 9 101 2nd in Patrick Lost in Division Semifinals
WSH 1985–1986 80 50 23 7 107 2nd in Patrick Lost in Division Finals
WSH 1986–1987 80 38 32 10 86 2nd in Patrick Lost in Division Semifinals
WSH 1987–1988 80 38 33 9 85 3rd in Patrick Lost in Division Finals
WSH 1988–1989 80 41 29 10 92 1st in Patrick Lost in Division Semifinals
WSH 1989–1990 46 18 24 4 (40) (fired)
DET 1990–1991 80 34 38 8 76 3rd in Norris Lost in Division Semifinals
DET 1991–1992 80 43 25 12 98 1st in Norris Lost in Division Finals
DET 1992–1993 84 47 28 9 103 2nd in Norris Lost in Division Semifinals
FLA 1997–1998 59 17 31 11 (45) 6th in Atlantic Missed playoffs
ANA 2001–2002 82 29 42 8 3 69 5th in Pacific Missed playoffs
OTT 2005–2006 82 52 21 9 113 1st in Northeast Lost in Conference Semifinals
OTT 2006–2007 82 48 25 9 105 2nd in Northeast Lost in Stanley Cup Finals
OTT 2007–2008 18 7 9 2 (16) 2nd in Northeast Lost in Conference Quarterfinals
Total 1,239 620 465 131 23 1,394 13 playoff appearances

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Roger Crozier
Head Coaches of the Washington Capitals
Succeeded by
Terry Murray
Preceded by
Jacques Demers
Head Coaches of the Detroit Red Wings
Succeeded by
Scotty Bowman
Preceded by
Jim Devellano
General managers of the Detroit Red Wings
Succeeded by
Jim Devellano and Scotty Bowman
Preceded by
Doug MacLean
Head Coaches of the Florida Panthers
Succeeded by
Terry Murray
Preceded by
Bobby Clarke
General managers of the Florida Panthers
Succeeded by
Bill Torrey
Preceded by
Guy Charron
Head Coaches of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
Succeeded by
Mike Babcock
Preceded by
Pierre Gauthier
General managers of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
Succeeded by
Al Coates
Preceded by
Jacques Martin
Head Coaches of the Ottawa Senators
Succeeded by
John Paddock
Preceded by
John Muckler
General managers of the Ottawa Senators
Succeeded by
Pierre Dorion
Preceded by
John Paddock
Head Coaches of the Ottawa Senators
Succeeded by
Craig Hartsburg
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Orval Tessier
Winner of the Jack Adams Award
Succeeded by
Mike Keenan
Washington Capitals Head Coaches
AndersonSullivanSchmidtMcVieBelisleGreenCrozierB. MurrayT. MurraySchoenfeldWilsonCassidyHanlonBoudreauD. HunterOatesTrotzReirdenLaviolette
Detroit Red Wings Head Coaches
DuncanKeatsAdamsIvanSkinnerAbelGadsbyHarknessBarkleyJ. WilsonGarvinDelvecchioL. WilsonKrommLindsayMaxnerDeaPolanoNealeParkDemersMurrayBowmanSmithLewisBabcockBlashill
Florida Panthers Head Coaches
Neilson • MacLean • B. Murray • T. Murray • Sutter • Keenan • Dudley • Torchetti • Martin • DeBoer • Dineen • Horachek • Gallant • Rowe • Boughner • Quenneville
Anaheim Ducks Head Coaches
WilsonPageHartsburgCharronBryan MurrayBabcockCarlyleBoudreau • Carlyle • Bob MurrayEakins
Ottawa Senators Head Coaches
BownessAllisonMartinNeilson • Martin • MurrayPaddock • Murray • HartsburgCloustonMacLeanCameronBoucherCrawfordSmith


This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Bryan Murray (ice hockey). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).