Longtime coach, GM Murray dies of colon cancer

Former Capitals coach and Senators general manager Bryan Murray died Saturday at the age of 74.

Murray served as general manager in Anaheim, Florida, Detroit and Ottawa and coached in Washington, Detroit, Florida, Anaheim and Ottawa. Our condolences go out to his family and friends for their loss.

One of the most respected and well-liked figures in hockey, Murray most recently served as general manager of the Senators from 2007-2016 before stepping down, citing health and family concerns.

The Detroit Red Wings are saddened to learn of the passing of Bryan Murray, a deeply-respected staple in the National Hockey League community for 35 years and former head coach (1990-93) and general manager (1990-94) of the Red Wings.

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. "As a teacher, he just loves to be influential on players' careers and he is and has been for his coaching and managing career".

Murray announced in 2014 that he had Stage 4 colon cancer that had spread to his liver and lungs. "He was behind the bench for the Bears in 1980-81 and quickly established himself as one of hockey's great coaches".

Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher and assistant GM Brent Flahr, who worked with Murray in Florida, called him "a great friend and a mentor to many of us in this business". 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. He was the team's eighth coach in eight seasons, and though the Capitals didn't make the playoffs that first year, they did finish with a 25-28-13 record with Murray at the helm. He was also the GM of the Ducks when they made the 2003 Final, losing to the New Jersey Devils in seven games, and the Panthers when they lost to the Colorado Avalanche in four games in the 1996 Final.

"The Washington Capitals organization was saddened to learn of the passing of Bryan Murray", the Capitals said in a statement. Bryan shaped the lives and careers of countless players.

The Capitals had led a miserable NHL existence over their first years in the league before they promoted Murray from Hershey of the American Hockey League early in the 1981-82 season. 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.

Five more playoff appearances followed, capped by a 1988-89 season in which the Capitals won their division for the first time in franchise history. Bryan devoted an incredible life to the sport, and his presence will be deeply missed.

Vanessa Coleman