Somewhere, up there in the heavens, you have to think that Bryan Murray is standing behind the bench of a pretty good hockey team and providing a steady, guiding hand.
That was the way Murray was in life and it’s a big reason why the people at the Canadian Tire Centre will miss having the 74-year-old former Ottawa Senators general manager around after he lost his three-year battle with cancer Saturday morning.
Not only did Murray leave behind his wife, Geri, along with his daughters, Heide and Brittany, he also left a big void in the hockey world. For 35 years, Murray was involved in the National Hockey League in one way or another, as a GM or coach, before spending his final season as a senior adviser in hockey operations with Ottawa.
The Senators never really thought about Murray not being around because he had always just been there. He could be counted on to tell a funny story when it may have been needed the most or be a shoulder to lean on because there wasn’t a whole lot that Murray hadn’t been through during his storied career.
“It sucks. … It really does suck,” owner Eugene Melnyk said in a telephone interview. “People just always expected to have him around. He was always around. He was always a calming influence. If you looked up in the middle of chaos for soft eyes to look back, that was him.