The Loss of Murray and Alfredsson Leaves Significant Hole in the Senators’ Front Office

CALGARY, CANADA FEBRUARY 27: General manager Bryan Murray of the Ottawa Senators talks to the media after their NHL game against the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome on February 27, 2016 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

The passing of Bryan Murray on Saturday, August 12th not only represents a great loss for the greater Ottawa community, but his absence has created a huge hole within the Senators’ hockey operations department.

For Yahoo! Sports‘ ‘Puck Daddy’ blog, I wrote a Senators piece of #NHLAltHistory in which I examined the consequences of John Muckler’s inability to land Gary Roberts at the 2007 trade deadline at the behest of Senators owner Eugene Melnyk.

Subtle plug, right?

Within the construct of the article, I posited that Muckler’s shortcoming created enough of a rift with ownership to allow Bryan Murray to take over the general manager’s role.

Had Muckler been able to swing a trade for the veteran left winger, he not only would have kept his job, but he probably would have held onto the position for a number of years.

In other words, Murray’s revamping of the front office hiring Tim Murray as an assistant general manager and Pierre Dorion as chief amateur scout in 2007 or hiring Anders Forsberg as a European scout in 2008 built the foundation for the Senators’ organization. But perhaps most importantly, had Muckler stuck around, Erik Karlsson probably never plays a game for this organization.

These front office hires are just one aspect of the organization that Murray helped shape, but it’s easy to understand what kind of impact he had as a general manager and later as a senior hockey advisor.

In an organization where C-level executives and coaches were dismissed at a rate that Donald Trump’s administration would appreciate, Murray was the one constant.

Working under an impulsive owner who’s renowned for letting his emotions get the best of him, Murray had the unenviable chore of operating a hockey club while keeping his owner at arm’s length.

Over the years, others paid the price for the organization’s shortcomings, but Murray remained at the helm and in the owner’s trust.

Even as a senior advisor, I always imagined him as a buffer between Melnyk and Dorion, but now that he’s gone, how will the front office dynamics change?

The beloved Daniel Alfredsson has already bolted the organization for a second time in four years and it’s still not understood why we left.

We can only read the tea leaves or cryptic tweets.

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Having lost two of this city’s most well-liked sports figures from their front office in one offseason, this is unchartered territory for the Senators and raises a lot questions.

How will the Senators replace Murray and Alfredsson in the front office? Does the organization have the capital to bring someone into the fold? Assuming they do, will they look externally for a solution or will they simply promote someone from within? If they don’t bring in another body, will having fewer eyes and opinions in the front office be to the detriment of the hockey club? Will Murray’s passing have an impact on the relationship between Dorion and Melnyk?

Last season’s playoff run will only raise expectations in this city, so the pressure is going to be on Dorion deliver and if he can’t, he’ll have to placate his owner and deal with that stress.

If he can’t, it could make for a long year.

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Bike Pittsburgh’s 15th Birthday Party September 16

Join us for our 15th Birthday Party!

When we say Join Us, it’s literal. We’d love for you to become a member of BikePGH and take part in this celebration. This is a free event for up-to-date BikePGH members, and newcomers and encouraged to join in on the fun and become a member at the party for $15 for our 15th birthday.

Ride down to the Millvale Riverfront park to meet new friends and see old ones. We’ll have the I ? My Bike photobooth up so you can register your bike, other family-friendly activities like helmet decorating, a DJ, and lots of great company. Plus, there will be a free BikePGH t-shirt pile.

Cake, beer, snacks, and activities will be provided!

What is there to celebrate?

From figuring out how an organization operates in 2002 to becoming one of Pittsburgh’s most influential small non-profit oganiations, Bike Pittsburgh holds many achievements. BikePGH’s work is responsible for increasing ridership in Pittsburgh by shaping biking improvements throughout the city with bike lanes, street markings, bike parking, the Pittsburgh Bike Map and much, much more. BikePGH’s education programs, membership, and community building events has positively added to the wellness of Pittsburghers.

Current BikePGH members, we couldn’t have gotten where we are without you. And, newcomers, we need you in order to continue this important work. This birthday is a time to celebrate the successes of biking in Pittsburgh over the last 15 years.

About the Party

Date: Saturday, September 16

Time: 1pm to 4pm

Location: Millvale Riverfront Park

Address: 70 River Front Drive, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 15209


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The City of Pittsburgh is Hiring

Assistant Director, Division of Policy, Permits and Planning

Exciting opportunity for early career professional to help make lasting and transformative change in one of America’s great legacy cities. The Pittsburgh Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) was created just four months ago to guide mobility and transportation policies and investments to position Pittsburgh for the future. The position will direct and grow a team of talented staff working across Departments and disciplines. The Associate Director will represent the Department in collaborations with regional partners, large employers, major research institutions and a growing number of technology firms and guide policies during a time of dramatic and dynamic change in the city and industry.

Transportation Fellow, Policy

The Department of Mobility and Infrastructure is seeking a multimodal enthusiast skilled in transportation policy writing, data management, research, analysis and reporting to support and advance the City’s active transportation initiatives. As a key member of the transportation planning staff, transportation fellow will provide the background and support needed for implementation and measurement of priority bicycle and pedestrian improvements, working with stakeholders and City partners to advance these critical safety projects. Strong interest in the importance of data in project development, design and evaluation is a must. Anticipated deliverables include: department-wide policies on data collection, management and reporting; department policy and process guiding public outreach for transportation projects; and before and after studies for new bike/ped projects including user counts, perception surveys and economic impact assessment. Entry level position with initial 18-month term. Interested applicants should send indication of interest and preliminary resume tobeverly.ochs-pobicki@pittsburghpa.gov

Transportation Fellow, Engineering and Design

The Department of Mobility and Infrastructure is seeking entry level engineers, landscape architects, or urban designers to provide support to professional engineering staff in the design and delivery of non-motorized facilities to improve safety and mobility in the City of Pittsburgh. Staff will conduct field scoping and assessment, develop conceptual designs for review, and refine designs under the direction of senior staff. Knowledge of AutoCAD is required. Anticipated deliverables include: contributions to the City’s urban street design guidelines and updated standards; recommended methodology for facility selection in different street contexts; outreach and education materials for public use of new facility types; and methodology for performance measurement and reporting. Entry level position with initial 18-month term. Interested applicants should send indication of interest and preliminary resume tobeverly.ochs-pobicki@pittsburghpa.gov

Mobility Policy Analyst

Position will report to the new Associate Director of Policy, Planning and Permitting. Great entry level position for college graduate (Master’s Degree preferred). Anticipated initiatives include developing policy for autonomous and connected vehicles, establishing TDM policies to promote mode shift, enhancing City’s capabilities for data-informed transportation decision-making and performance tracking; a range of public realm policies and multiple other objectives. Interested applicants should send indication of interest and preliminary resume tobeverly.ochs-pobicki@pittsburghpa.gov

Engineer Project Manager

Senior engineer position overseeing a number of complex projects including TIGER-funded highway cap to support a new signature park for the city, municipal bridges, urban steps, and other structural projects. Project Manager will oversee all aspects of project design and delivery, overseeing a small team of project design staff. Project Manager will liaison with senior leadership across the city and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. PE in the State of Pennsylvania is required. Interested applicants should send indication of interest and preliminary resume tojeff.skalican@pittsburghpa.gov

Staff Engineer or Engineering Tech III

Entry level professional engineer position to support complex engineering and infrastructure projects in the City of Pittsburgh. Projects include street design and reconstruction, bridges, walls, trails steps and/or traffic engineering and operational design. Staff Engineer/Engineering Tech will work under the direction of an Engineer Project Manager within the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure. Interested applicants should send indication of interest and preliminary resume tojeff.skalican@pittsburghpa.gov

Assistant Director, Finance

Work across agencies and Departments in the planning and administration of the City’s revenue forecasting, analytics, collections, and tax compliance functions. The Assistant Director in the Department of Finance coordinates the development and implementation of revenue-related policies and procedures; oversees the planning and management of improvements in departmental systems and business processes; and supports strategic financial management functions including debt issuance and management.


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The post The City of Pittsburgh is Hiring appeared first on BikePGH.

Opioid conference at IUP still accepting preregistration

Indiana University of Pennsylvania will host the Mid-Atlantic Research and Training Institute for Community Behavioral Health Conference next week on its campus, and is still accepting registrations for the event.

The cross-disciplinary conference will focus on the opioid epidemic and suicide prevention. Comedian and reality television star Gary Owen will speak at the conference to share his personal tragedy of losing his brother to heroin during a free session open to the public on July 12 at 4:45

Personalities of Pittsburgh: Karen Puchalsky

In this week’s Personalities of Pittsburgh, Karen Puchalsky has worked hard to adapt to an evolving tech sector and changing business demands since launching her own tech company 20 years ago. Here she talks about her experiences as an entrepreneur during the early days of the internet, as well as her thoughts on Pittsburgh’s technology business climate and on running Innovate E-Commerce, a Wexford-based managed services and secure file transfer company.