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Bryan Murray, Ottawa Senators GM, Plans To Leave Post After Next Season

05/28/2015 07:40 EDT | Updated 05/28/2016 05:59 EDT
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OTTAWA, ON - JUNE 02: Head coach Bryan Murray of the Ottawa Senators speaks with media after his team defeated the Anaheim Ducks in Game Three of the 2007 Stanley Cup finals on June 2, 2007 at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Canada. The Senators won the game 5-3. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Bryan Murray expects next season to be his last as general manager of the Ottawa Senators, he told the CBC's Hallie Cotnam during a one-on-one interview.

Murray took a short break from planning for June's NHL draft to talk about his health and future as he continues chemotherapy treatment for Stage 4 colon cancer.

"I'm not as energized as I once was, but age has a little to do with that as well as the sickness," said Murray, who publicly announced his battle last November.

He will be honoured on Thursday evening as the United Way Community Builder of the Year thanks to his work spreading awareness about the role of a colonoscopy in the early detection of colon cancer.

Murray was humble when asked about the award, crediting the Senators organization for giving him a platform to deliver the message, which he said has directly helped people in the hockey community and beyond.

"It's not something that was easy to talk about, especially with a family and the articles that followed with terminal cancer, for my daughters and my wife," he said, "But it's a fact of life.

"You try not to [reveal your weaknesses] but I wasn't so worried about that. I've been around such a long time in the community that I've gotten to know so many people that work in hockey … I've thought if I could share it would be good for different organizations."

Murray has said he would return as the Senators' general manager next season. The native of Shawville, Que., also eyes a shift into an advisor role when his contract expires after the 2015-16 season.

'I'm being a little bit selfish'

As Murray fights for his life, his desire to continue working and travelling has raised some eyebrows.

But he maintains as long as doctors and more importantly his family are on board, he will continue to do exactly what he's done for the past 36 years.

"That's where I've really been treated with great respect. Geri, we have been together a long time," he said, remembering back to the late 1970s when he left his job as a schoolteacher in eastern Ontario to coach junior hockey in Regina, Sask.

"She wants me to slow down. She certainly wants more time to do things and I'm being a little bit selfish. I like the idea of being active, being somewhat important in what you do.

"[I like the idea] of sharing some knowledge to the young people that will eventually take over here and help as much as I can rebuild this hockey team to a contending hockey team."

Murray's vice: 'I'm an ice cream guy'

Murray began his 21st chemotherapy treatment on Tuesday. Each treatment takes a few days to complete.

That number might sound high, but Murray said he's met another man who has returned to the hospital more than 100 times for chemotherapy. Other people he's met who are fighting cancer are only in their 30s, which has given the 72-year-old some perspective.

"When you're on the outside, you never think of [cancer] or you're not aware of it to the same degree. Every day I go in for my treatment and I run into somebody new and different," Murray said.

After almost seven months of treatment, Murray calls his cancer battle an "endurance test."

He can't cheat to pass that test, but Murray admitted he does break the rules for one dessert.

"I'm an ice cream guy. I've been told not to have too much ice cream, but once in a while I cheat. I don't know where that came from but I like a nice bowl of ice cream," he said with a laugh.

Murray will be honoured at the United Way gala on Thursday evening. The event begins at 5 p.m. ET at the Shaw Centre in downtown Ottawa.


Canadiens vs. Senators (March 15, 2014)