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Thursday, April 21, 2011
Bruins won't renew contract of Providence coach Murray

By Joe McDonald

MONTREAL – The Boston Bruins announced that the organization will not renew the contract of Providence Bruins head coach Rob Murray.

Murray was hired as the P-Bruins coach on Aug. 21, 2008 after five seasons as an assistant captain for the team. As a head coach he posted a 117-103-20 record.

“I have known Rob for a long time because I’ve been a teammate of his as well, as a player and I know he’s very passionate, hardworking guy,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “And he puts everything into his work and I have always liked his approach to the game and coaching. So to me he’s been very helpful in working with our guys down there and certainly I liked working with him.”

Murray has been offered a scouting position with the Bruins.

“The Bruins organization has been tremendous to me,” he said. “Working closely with [Bruins assistant GM] Don Sweeney has been great. We’ve grown a good friendship and a good working relationship. He’s always been very supportive. The Bruins have been great and it was a good situation in Providence.”

Murray enjoyed a 16-year playing career in both the AHL and NHL. After playing 1,018 games in the American League, he decided to get into coaching. Former Bruins GM Mike O’Connell hired Murray at the urging of scout Sean Coady. Murray first served as Scott Gordon’s assistant in Providence.

“Realistically, you come out of playing and the first or second year out, in the back of your mind you think you can still play,” Murray said. “You never want to give up the dream. The first couple of years [being an assistant coach] sometimes I wanted to jump right on the ice and get the job done for the guys, opposed to coaching.”

Murray credits Gordon for helping him make the transition from playing to coaching.

“He led me the right way and I appreciate all the work and all the help he gave me through the years, especially never coaching before,” Murray said. “I always had in my thought process I wanted to coach, but until you really do it, you don’t know what you’re in for. He helped me bridge that cap between playing and coaching.”

After Gordon was named head coach for the New York Islanders, Murray was named head coach in Providence after five seasons as an assistant.

“I was confident in my ability to do it and I still am,” he said. “I have no regrets with the way I coached and how it worked out. It’s unfortunate it’s come to an end at this point.”

The Bruins organization knows Murray is a valuable asset and character guy, so he’s been asked to stay on as a scout. But coaching remains a passion and a goal for him.

“It’s something that I want to continue to do,” he said. “Where and when I’m not sure. It’s something I definitely want to continue to do and I have the utmost confidence in my ability to do it. I would like to keep coaching and hopefully something comes along.”

While behind the bench in Providence, Murray helped develop many of the current Bruins players, including defenseman Johnny Boychuk.

“He’s a great coach,” said Boychuk. “He develops guys well, and does a good job to push guys and try to get them to the next level.”