FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) _ The Florida Panthers' two-month search for a new coach appears to have ended at general manager Bryan Murray's family tree.

Younger brother Terry Murray, let go by Philadelphia despite leading the Flyers to the 1997 Stanley Cup finals, has been offered the Panthers' job, the Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale reported in Thursday editions.

The report said the Panthers have started negotiations with Terry Murray's agent and an announcement could come this week. Team spokeswoman Stephanie Cuzzacrea said no news conference had been scheduled and called the likelihood of an announcement Thursday ``doubtful.''

It would mark the second time Terry Murray has replaced his brother in an NHL coaching job. He took over when Bryan was fired as Washington coach in January 1990, leading the Capitals to the conference finals for the first time.

Bryan Murray took on the Panthers' coaching duties for the final 4 1/2 months of this past season, after Doug MacLean was fired in the midst of a 7-12-4 start. Florida finished 24-43-15, the second-worst record in the NHL.

Bryan Murray originally was hesitant to consider his brother, fearing charges of nepotism. But both brothers have insisted their relationship was not a factor and the only consideration was Terry's qualifications.

Terry Murray has a 281-198-58 record in eight seasons with Washington and Philadelphia. He also is considered to be exceptional with youngsters, helping then-rookies Janne Niinimaa and Dainius Zubrus become key contributors in the Flyers' 1997 playoff run.

The Panthers have 10 players age 23 or younger and two or three others who are expected to make the roster this season.

Terry Murray spent the past season as a Flyers scout.