Longtime NHL coach and executive Bryan Murray, who left a significant impact on the Ducks and the four other teams that he led, lost his battle with cancer and died Saturday. He was 74.
Murray was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer three years ago. Most recently, the native of Shawville, Quebec was serving as a special advisor to Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion after stepping down from that position in April 2016.
In three seasons with the Ducks from 2001-04, Murray presided over a team that reached the 2003 Stanley Cup Final before losing to New Jersey in seven games. He also set the franchise up for the future by drafting cornerstones Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry before leaving for Ottawa.
Ironically, it was Getzlaf and Perry as promising second-year players that would help deny Murray a Cup in 2007 when the Ducks won in five games with the personable, competitive coach behind the Senators bench. Murray also reached the Cup Final in 1996 with Florida among his 22 years as a GM.
“The Anaheim Ducks family mourns the loss of Bryan Murray, who passed away this morning,” the Ducks said in a statement. “As both head coach and general manager of the team (2001-2004), Bryan led our organization with class, dignity and charisma.
“But Bryan’s legacy goes far beyond his success on the ice, including his courageous fight with cancer and countless contributions to the communities he served. He will be forever remembered by all he touched.”
Getzlaf, who has become the captain and leader of the Ducks, also extended his “prayers and thoughts” to Bryan’s family.
“He gave me my first look at the NHL by drafting me, which I’m so grateful for,” Getzlaf told the Southern California News Group. “He was a great man who left his mark on our great game.”
Along with coaching the Ducks (2001-02) and Ottawa (2005-08), Murray also helmed Washington (1981-89), Detroit (1990-93) and Florida (1997-98) as he compiled a 620-465-131-23 record in 1,239 games. He also took…