Bryan Murray, GM for Florida Panthers’ Stanley Cup Finals season, dies at 74

Longtime coach and general manager , the GM of the Florida Panthers during their season, has died at 74. He worked in the league in some capacity for 35 consecutive seasons.

The said in a statement Saturday he was diagnosed with in 2014.

Murray was the Panthers’ second GM, holding the post from 1994-2000. He also coached the team in the 1997-98 season.

In 1996, Murray’s Panthers won the before getting swept in the Stanley Cup Finals by the .

“Bryan Murray was a great teammate and very important to this franchise in its early days. The consummate professional, that’s what he was. My best wishes, thoughts and prayers go out to his family,” Panthers special adviser and alternate governor Bill Torrey said in a statement Saturday.

“Bryan was one of the greatest men that the game of hockey has ever known and also a great father, mentor and teacher,” Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said.

One of the most respected and well-liked figures in hockey, Murray most recently served as general manager of the Senators from 2007-2016 before stepping down, citing health and family concerns. He also served as general manager in Anaheim and Detroit and coached in Washington, Detroit, Anaheim and Ottawa.

He won the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year with the in 1983-84 and reached the Stanley Cup Final with the Senators in 2007.

“Bryan Murray’s strength and character were reflected in the teams he coached and the teams he built over decades of front office excellence,” NHL Commissioner said.

“While his warmth and dry sense of humor were always evident, they were accompanied by the fiery competitiveness and determination that were his trademarks. As we mourn Bryan’s passing, we celebrate his many contributions to the game — as well as his courage. The National Hockey League family sends our deepest condolences, comfort and support to Bryan’s family, his many friends and all whose lives he influenced.”

The Capitals had not been to the playoffs in their first eight years of existence before making seven consecutive postseason trips under Murray. Former player Craig Laughlin described Murray as a players’ coach with an old-school approach and a knack for managing personalities.

, the former Washington and current Nashville general manager, said Murray’s teaching background made him a natural for coaching.

Murray last coached in 2007-08. Since then he had been Ottawa’s general manager and an adviser last season, stepping down because of his health. Murray said he wanted his legacy to be cancer awareness.

Murray’s younger brother Terry, 67, coached the Panthers from 1998-2001.

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