There is some sad news to report out of the world of hockey this afternoon. Former Detroit Red Wings general manager and head coach Bryan Murray has passed away from cancer at the age of 74.
Murray was with the Red Wings from 1990-93 and remained as GM during Scotty Bowman’s first season as coach in ’93-94. During his three seasons behind the bench, Murray led the Red Wings to first, second and third place in the Norris Division and won 124 regular season games.
Murray’s 620 NHL victories during the regular season as a head coach rank 12th all time amongst coaches, and took his teams to the Stanley Cup Playoffs 12 times out of 13 years. In addition to the Red Wings, Murray served as GM and coach of the Florida Panthers, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and Ottawa Senators.
Originally a native of Shawville, Quebec, Murray was one of 10 children and grew up playing hockey, though he never played professionally. 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. He later joined the AHL’s Hershey Bears as an assistant before becoming the head coach of the Washington Capitals head coach in 1981.
In November of 2014, Murray revealed he had Stage 4 colon cancer, and that the disease had spread to his lungs and liver.
“There is no cure at this point for me,” Murray said. “The word is that we’ll keep doing chemo and hopefully reduce the tumors and the effect and I’ll get some time out of that.”
He spent the rest of his life as an advocate for cancer awareness.
“We have high profiles,” Murray said at a 2015 dinner held in his honor. “So if you can help, whether through a message you make or through your organization to help people, there’s so many people affected, so many young people affected. I think we have an obligation to give any advice or any help that we can.”
Murray is surived by his wife, Geri, and daughters Heide and Brittany.