Despite an ongoing battle with Stage 4 colon cancer, Bryan Murray isn’t quitting his day job.
“I’ve talked to the doctors, I’ve talked to my family,” Murray said at Ottawa’s end-of-season media availability on Wednesday. “If my health holds up and everything, I can keep doing this job — and it’s better than sitting on the couch at home, I think.”
Murray, diagnosed last July, didn’t expand much on that decision, opting rather to dive into the work he’s already doing — specifically, a new contract extension for head coach Dave Cameron.
Dave Cameron says the #sens have offered him a contract extension. “It’s sitting on my kitchen table. I haven’t opened it yet.”
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) April 29, 2015
Murray said the midseason coaching change to Cameron from Paul MacLean completely turned the team around, evident in Ottawa’s stellar 23-3-3 run to make the playoffs.
“We played more of a pressure game, we played a quicker game, we broke the puck out better and we weren’t hemmed in our own end as much as we were,” Murray explained. “[Cameron’s] ability to communicate with them, to get them to perform and believe in themselves — [it] turned around a season that could’ve gone sideways very quickly after Christmas.”
As for other news and nuggets from today’s presser:
• The Sens will make a contract offer to Andrew “The Hamburglar” Hammond, who starred during the aforementioned playoff push. Hammond, a pending UFA, went 20-1-2 with a .941 save percentage and 1.79 GAA, but faltered in the playoffs and ceded his No. 1 gig to Craig Anderson.
• On the topic of goalies, Robin Lehner — who’s concussion opened up a spot for Hammond back in February — is still dealing with headaches and has been told to “shut it down” for another week. Murray said that if Hammond accepts Ottawa’s offer, “there will be a change with one of the other two guys,” meaning Lehner or Anderson could be moved.
• Defenseman Jared Cowen will undergo sports hernia surgery. Marc Methot, who was reportedly headed for elbow surgery, may no longer need the procedure.
• Murray has given Cameron the green light to hire an assistant coach to replace the late Mark Reeds, who passed away earlier this month.
Finally — and fittingly — Murray ended his presser by confirming he’s healthy enough to deal with the rigors of being the GM, adding that the work is, at times, good for him.
“I always feel better when we win,” he explained. “Even when I didn’t have health issues, I always feel better when we win.”