It had to come eventually, but it’s heartbreaking to learn that Bryan Murray will no longer be the GM of the Ottawa Senators following the 2015-16 season.
Murray revealed in an interview with CBC’s Hallie Cotnam that he plans on the upcoming season being his last as the GM of the Senators after serving in the post for the past eight seasons. Prior to becoming the Senators’ GM, Murray spent 17 seasons as an NHL coach.
"I'm not as energized as I once was, but age has a little to do with that as well as the sickness," Murray told Cotnam.
Murray, who turned 72 in December, has been in the NHL since the 1981-82 season when he became the coach of the Washington Capitals. The news of him stepping down comes as he prepares to accept the United Way’s Community Builder of the Year award Thursday evening, one of the most prestigious honors the charity can bestow, for his role in helping raise cancer awareness.
"It's not something that was easy to talk about, especially with a family and the articles that followed with terminal cancer, for my daughters and my wife," Murray told Cotnam. "But it's a fact of life.
"You try not to [reveal your weaknesses] but I wasn't so worried about that. I've been around such a long time in the community that I've gotten to know so many people that work in hockey … I've thought if I could share it would be good for different organizations."
As an NHL bench boss, Murray is one of only 13 coaches who have reached the 600-win milestone, and he ranks 10th all time in career coaching victories with 620. Over his 1,239 games behind the bench – the 13th most contests by a coach – Murray compiled a record of 620-465-131-23 and was named the Jack Adams Award winner in 1983-84 when he led the Washington Capitals to a 48-27-5 record.
In his career, Murray has only one Stanley Cup final appearance, coming in 2006-07 when he led the Ottawa Senators to the final round against the Anaheim Ducks. Anaheim won the series 4-1.
As Senators GM, Murray has been responsible for the trades that brought Bobby Ryan, Kyle Turris, Milan Michalek, Marc Methot and Craig Anderson to Ottawa. During his years as GM, the Senators have also drafted players such as Erik Karlsson, Mika Zibanejad, Cody Ceci and Curtis Lazar, as well as later round steals like Mark Stone (sixth round, 178th overall) and Mike Hoffman (fifth round, 130th overall).
Murray hopes to step into an advisory role once he steps down as GM.