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P-Bruins’ Murray promoted to head coach

The Providence Bruins today announced that the National Hockey League’s Boston Bruins have promoted P-Bruins assistant coach Rob Murray to head coach. He replaces reigning AHL coach of the year Scott Gordon, who recently accepted the head coaching position with the NHL’s New York Islanders.

Murray, 41, becomes the ninth head coach in Providence history after serving as the team’s assistant for the past five seasons, during which time the P-Bruins compiled a 221-141-20-27 (W-L-T-OT/SOL) record. His promotion comes nearly five years to the day from when he was named an assistant on Aug. 22, 2003.

A native of Toronto, Ont., Murray has been coaching since retiring at the end of the 2002-03 season after a 16-year playing career. Regarded as one of the true greats in the history of the AHL, Murray and longtime Bruins defenseman Eddie Shore are the only two men to have had their numbers retired by teams in Springfield. Murray’s number 23 was raised to the rafters by the Falcons in a pre-game ceremony in Springfield on Feb. 10, 2007.

Among Murray’s accomplishments, he became just the sixth player in AHL history to play 1,000 games on Feb. 23, 2003. He retired ranking sixth in the league with 1,018 games played. Murray also ranks second in AHL history with 2,940 PIM.

He is the Falcons’ career leader in games played (501) and penalty minutes (1,529), and ranks first in assists (157), second in points (218) and fifth in goals (61).

Murray was known throughout his career as a leader, serving as the captain of four different clubs, beginning with the Moncton Hawks for two seasons from 1992-94. He was the Falcons’ captain from the 1994-95 season until his trade to the Edmonton Oilers on Nov. 30, 1999. He became the captain of the Oilers’ AHL affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs, for the remainder of that season. He also served as the Philadelphia Phantoms’ captain in 2000-01 and then again for the Falcons during the 2002-03 season. Murray also served as captain of the Canadian team at the 1997 AHL All-Star Classic in Saint John, N.B.

Murray reached the 1994 Calder Cup Finals with Moncton and becomes the third member of that team to hold a current AHL head coaching post, joining Hartford’s Ken Gernander and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Dan Bylsma.

In addition to his lengthy AHL tenure, Murray skated in 107 career NHL contests with the Phoenix Coyotes, Winnipeg Jets, and Washington Capitals. Overall, Murray appeared in 1,205 games as a pro, registering 177 goals, 348 assists, 525 points and 3,190 penalty minutes.

Murray and his wife Carolyn reside year-round in South Kingstown, R.I., with their daughters Taylor and Quinn, and sons Zachary and Brendan.