Gary Bettman releases statement on passing of Bryan Murray

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"Bryan Murray's strength and character were reflected in the teams he coached and the teams he built over decades of front office excellence", National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.

In 1998, South Florida coaches Jimmy Johnson, Pat Riley, Jim Leyland and Bryan Murray stand together with 10-year-old Michael Fernandez at the fifth annual Make-a-Wish Foundation of South Florida Sports Banquet & Memorabilia Auction at the Signature Grand in Davie.

Longtime NHL coach and general manager Bryan Murray, the GM of the Florida Panthers during their Stanley Cup Finals season, has died at 74.

"As we mourn Bryan's passing, we celebrate his many contributions to the game - as well as his courage".

"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.

Things changed for good in 1982-83, the first season Murray was paired with General Manager David Poile.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Murray family", Senators captain Erik Karlsson tweeted.

"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. Coaching was his first love. Since long time Flyers chairman Ed Snider lost his battle with cancer in April, 2016, Bryan has become the 14th hockey friend I have lost with the majority being taken by cancer as well. He has that uncanny ability to go into a rink and just recognize hockey players right away. He worked in the league in some capacity for 35 consecutive seasons. He couldn't really get up and down the ice that well. "Brent was such a quiet and modest guy", Bryan would say, "that I always wondered what it had been like for him in the War". "As both head coach and general manager of the team (2001-2004), Bryan led our organization with class, dignity and charisma". He took over as Ottawa's coach during the 2005-06 season and responded by leading the team to the Conference Final.

Before the 2001-02 series, Murray joined the then Anaheim Mighty Ducks as head coach for one season before moving to the front office as GM from 2002-04. "He will be forever remembered by all he touched".

"Bryan was one of the men, the most brilliant hockey has ever known". Bryan shaped the lives and careers of countless players.

But with playoff appearances came the playoff disappointments that now are standard in Washington and, after the Capitals won just 18 of their first 46 games in the 1989-90 season, they fired Murray and replaced him with his brother, Terry, causing some consternation in a family that included 10 brothers and sisters.

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