Bryan Murray (ice hockey)

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Bryan Murray
GM Bryan Murray.jpg
Bryan Murray as general manager of the Senators in 2013
Born Bryan Clarence Murray
(1942-12-05) December 5, 1942 (age 71)
Shawville, QC, CAN
Alma mater Macdonald College
Occupation General Manager of the Ottawa Senators
Spouse(s) Geri
Relatives Terry Murray (brother)

Bryan Clarence Murray (born December 5, 1942) is a Canadian ice hockey coach and executive. He currently serves as general manager of the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has 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 has compiled over 600 NHL victories in regular season games. In his 13 full NHL seasons as head coach, he has taken his teams to the playoffs 12 times. In other leagues, he has been head coach of the American Hockey League's Hershey Bears and the Western Hockey League's Regina Pats. Bryan's younger brother, Terry Murray, is the former head coach for the Los Angeles Kings.

Early life[edit]

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[edit]

Murray began his coaching career as a part-time coach with the Pembroke Lumber Kings of the CJHL. He earned a good reputation as a coach and was offered a job by 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 title in 1974. Murray then moved to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League as an assistant coach. Murray was on the coaching staff of Doug John Gibson when Gibson won AHL Coach of the Year in 1979–80. Murray then became head coach of Hershey for 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[edit]

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. Murray was fired partway through the 1989–90 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 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim 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. Despite this impressive number of victories (at the time the most among active NHL coaches), Murray has yet to win 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, and fired Clouston and two assistant coaches on April 9, 2011, following the Senators' last game; the Senators had been beset by injuries to key players such as captain Daniel Alfredsson and star forward Jason Spezza, 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.

Personal life[edit]

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.

Coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
G W L T OTL Pts Finish Result
WAS 1981–82 66 25 28 13 - (65) 5th in Patrick Missed Playoffs
WAS 1982–83 80 39 25 16 - 94 3rd in Patrick Lost in first round
WAS 1983–84 80 48 27 5 - 101 2nd in Patrick Lost in second round
WAS 1984–85 80 46 25 9 - 101 2nd in Patrick Lost in first round
WAS 1985–86 80 50 23 7 - 107 2nd in Patrick Lost in second round
WAS 1986–87 80 38 32 10 - 86 2nd in Patrick Lost in first round
WAS 1987–88 80 38 33 9 - 85 3rd in Patrick Lost in second round
WAS 1988–89 80 41 29 10 - 92 1st in Patrick Lost in first round
WAS 1989–90 46 18 24 4 - (78) 1st in Patrick (fired)
DET 1990–91 80 34 38 8 - 76 3rd in Norris Lost in first round
DET 1991–92 80 43 25 12 - 98 1st in Norris Lost in second round
DET 1992–93 84 47 28 9 - 103 2nd in Norris Lost in first round
FLA 1997–98 59 17 31 11 - (63) 6th in Atlantic Missed Playoffs
ANA 2001–02 82 29 42 8 3 69 5th in Pacific Missed Playoffs
OTT 2005–06 82 52 21 - 9 113 1st in Northeast Lost in second round
OTT 2006–07 82 48 25 - 9 105 2nd in Northeast Lost in Cup Final
OTT 2007–08 18 7 9 - 2 (94) 2nd in Northeast Lost in first round
Total 1239 620 465 131 23

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