Ryan Murray

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Bettman, Ducks, others share Bryan Murray memories

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The hockey world continues to mourn the passing of Bryan Murray at age 74, with condolences coming from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, legendary figure Scotty Bowman, the Anaheim Ducks, and many others.

For one thing, it’s heartwarming – though still very sad – to see the sheer volume of heartfelt messages following the news of Murray’s passing.

The personal touches really stand out, including Bettman noting Murray’s “dry sense of humor” in the league’s statement:

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

Senators owner Eugene Melnyk spoke for many when he described himself as “heartbroken” by news of Murray’s death.

Murray made quite an impact on the Anaheim Ducks, something they noted in their own release.

The Anaheim Ducks family mourns the loss of Bryan Murray, who passed away this morning. As both head coach and general manager of the team (2001-2004), Bryan led our organization with class, dignity and charisma.

Scotty Bowman also praised someone who’s been involved with the NHL for a resounding 35 years.

Plenty of NHL teams weighed in, even those he wasn’t quite as directly involved with. Players who once suited up for his teams shared their thoughts, too, including Chris Wideman and Mike Hoffman. Plenty of journalists provided genuine accounts of his kindness and sense of humor.

It says a lot when such a wide variety of people share their thoughts on a person’s life, and it’s apparent that Murray made many great impressions during his decades of work in the sport.

The Senators’ video shows that he still had time for his family, too.

Hockey world mourns as Bryan Murray passes away at age 74

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Former Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray passed away at age 74 on Saturday after a lengthy battle with cancer.

“A hockey lifer” seems to be a decent way to summarize Murray’s prolific career in the NHL, though it’s clear that his kindness also made an impact on many in the hockey world. Murray spent 35 years involved in the highest level of the sport, including the 2016-17 season in an executive role with the Senators.

The Senators note that his career included coaching for 18 seasons, which amounted to 1,239 games. The team released the following statement regarding the sad news:

“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. “We extend our sincere condolences to his wife, Geri, daughters, Heide and Brittany and the entire Murray family on their loss.”

The Senators beat the Capitals on a night they paid tribute to Murray’s legacy with the team back in January, which included this great video:

Back in 2014, Murray opened up to TSN’s Michael Farber about his situation, acknowledging his regret that he didn’t get tested sooner.

“I didn’t have a colonoscopy which I should’ve had,” Murray said. “I don’t know why I didn’t. One of the comments that came back to me on a regular basis, ‘You’re healthy, you’re from a family that hasn’t had any disease whatsoever. We can maybe wait.’ But that’s also my fault in that I should’ve demanded or at least asked for. But like a lot of men do, we put it off.”

“A simple colonoscopy in my case probably would’ve solved the problem I have.”

Murray will be missed, and not just by family members and the Senators franchise.

Report: Duchene could start next season with Avs

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If you’ve been wondering why Matt Duchene is still a member of the Colorado Avalanche, here’s an update from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman:

Everyone decided to take a deep breath and go back to their corners when Matt Duchene wasn’t traded July 1. It sounds like everyone is realizing the possibility he could start next season in Colorado. But remember this: Avalanche assistant GM Chris MacFarland was with Scott Howson in Columbus when Howson waited until July 20, 2012, to trade Rick Nash. Sometimes the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour, and MacFarland could be following that blueprint. I wouldn’t be surprised if interested parties (Boston, Columbus, Nashville, Pittsburgh, maybe Calgary) try again to see if anything shakes loose.

Friedman goes on to say that Duchene’s contract, which has two years left on it, could be a stumbling block.

We’ve written about that in the past. If Duchene only had one year left, an acquiring team could immediately sign him to an extension, like when the Avs traded Ryan O’Reilly to Buffalo.

But with two years left, it’s more complicated because an extension can’t be signed until next summer. That means an acquiring team would have to trust that Duchene wanted to stay long-term. And even if he said he did, there’d still be a risk he could change his mind.

Another factor in all this is that the Avs absolutely have to nail this deal. Certainly, they need to do better than what they got for O’Reilly.

To illustrate, it’s been reported that the Columbus Blue Jackets offered defenseman Ryan Murray to Colorado as part of a package for Duchene.

With all due respect to Murray, the second overall draft pick in 2012, he is not the franchise defenseman the Jackets had hoped he’d be. If the Avs are going to trade Duchene, they’ll need to get a guy with a higher ceiling than Murray’s.

And that’s the toughest part for GM Joe Sakic. As we’ve said before, fixing a defense with trades is not easy to do. Sure, the Jackets were able to get a good, young defenseman in Seth Jones, but they had to give up Ryan Johansen to get him.

The key there? Johansen was under club control for more than two years.

Related: Cale Makar goes fourth overall to Avs

Report: Jackets offer Ryan Murray as part of package to get Duchene

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The Blue Jackets have reportedly offered defenseman Ryan Murray as part of a package to get forward Matt Duchene out of Colorado.

Per Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, the Jackets would also include another roster player, prospect, or draft pick.

It certainly makes sense that the two teams are talking. The Jackets are in win-now mode and could use a top center. Given they already have Zach Werenski, Seth Jones, Jack Johnson, and David Savard on the back end, Murray is somewhat expendable.

The Avs, meanwhile, are desperate to upgrade their defense. Though Murray has fallen short of expectations since being drafted second overall in 2012, he’s still fairly young at just 23 years old.

All that said, GM Joe Sakic has options beyond the Jackets’ offer. According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Nashville Predators have also made an offer, and other teams are still calling.

Related: Duchene’s contract could complicate things for Avs

McPhee says today is last day to make trades with Vegas

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It’s going to be a manic Monday for George McPhee.

The Vegas GM announced that today will be the last day NHL clubs can complete trades to protect their players from the expansion draft, per Sportsnet. Once that deadline passes, McPhee and the Golden Knights will turn their attention to selecting players in preparation for Wednesday’s big roster reveal.

A couple of “side deals” are already believed to be in place. The Dispatch reported that Columbus will send this year’s first-round pick (24th overall) and a prospect to Vegas so that McPhee will select either left wing Matt Calvert, center William Karlsson or defenseman Ryan Murray.

There are also rumblings of Ducks GM Bob Murray having a deal in place to protect either — or both — of defensemen Sami Vatanen and Josh Manson.

Related: Vegas has plenty of options heading into expansion draft