Bryan Murray has become a fixture of the Ottawa Senators organization over the past 12 seasons, and the team will enshrine him as their inaugural inductee in the Senators’ Ring of Honor.
Bryan Murray’s career in hockey spans more than four decades, and for the past 12 seasons Murray has been an integral part of the Ottawa Senators. Now, the franchise is planning on honor Murray, the former coach and longtime GM of the Senators, by making him the first inductee into the team’s Ring of Honor.
The Senators made Murray’s induction official on Friday morning at a press conference, during which time owner Eugene Melnyk said Murray is not just among the best coaches and GMs in Senators history, but that the 74-year-old is one of the greatest executives in the history of the league.
"I could not be more excited to announce Bryan as the first member of the Ottawa Senators Ring of Honor, a lasting tribute where our fans, both present and future, can be reminded of Bryan's many contributions to our team, our city and our community,” Melnyk said. “On behalf of the Player Honoring Committee, our hockey club and our fans, I want to extend my most heartfelt congratulations to Bryan and his family on this tremendous honor.”
Murray isn’t just the first member of the Ring of Honor, however. His induction makes him the first executive to be honored by the Player Honoring Committee. Formed in the summer of 2015, the group made its first recommendation for an honoree by selecting Daniel Alfredsson to have his jersey retired by the franchise.
Murray started with the Senators in the 2005-06 season, and by his second campaign behind the Ottawa bench he had led the team to an Eastern Conference championship and berth in the Stanley Cup final. The Senators would be defeated by the Anaheim Ducks in five games, but lost three of the games by just one goal.
By the 2007-08 season, Murray took on the dual roles as both coach and GM, but relinquished coaching duties by the 2008-09 season, handing the reins to Craig Hartsburg and, later, to Cory Clouston. He served as the team’s GM from 2008 until stepping away from the role this past summer, and he currently serves in an advisory role for the club.
“To be here for the last 12 years has been special,” Murray said, according to the Ottawa Citizen’s Bruce Garrioch. “To be recognized in this way is a tremendous honour.”
During his tenure as GM, Murray helped orchestrate a number of trades that have brought talented players to Ottawa. Among the acquisitions Murray made are goaltender Craig Anderson, center Kyle Turris, winger Bobby Ryan and defensemen Marc Methot and Dion Phaneuf. He was also running the draft when the Senators selected current players Erik Karlsson, Mark Stone, Zack Smith, Mike Hoffman, J-G Pageau and Ryan Dzingel.
Not without his misses, he’s also responsible for the trade that sent Ben Bishop to the Tampa Bay Lightning, dealt away the pick that became Vladimir Tarasenko and failed to land anything that has amounted to much thus far in the trade that sent longtime Senator Jason Spezza to the Dallas Stars in 2014.
The ceremony to induct Murray into the Ring of Honor will take place Jan. 24 ahead of a game against the Washington Capitals, who, coincidentally, Murray coached for more than eight seasons. It was his first coaching gig in the NHL.
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