Bryan Murray, Ottawa Senators GM, plans to leave post after next season
Murray, 72, honoured Thursday evening as United Way Community Builder of the Year
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.
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"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.
[I like the idea] of sharing some knowledge to the young people that will eventually take over here.- Bryan Murray
"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.
Every day I go in for my treatment and I run into somebody new and different.- Bryan Murray
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.