Head coach Randy Carlyle has been extended as head coach of the Anaheim Ducks, per the team’s twitter. The contract is good through 2018-19, with an option for 2019-20. Trent Yawney and Rich Preston will be returning for at least one season, with Todd Marchant returning as Head of Player Development.
The organization is opting to stay the course in what many anticipated could be a tumultuous summer. With Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry getting another playoff older, and Randy Carlyle in the midst of his second tour of duty in Orange County, those central figures all look to remain locked in place for the foreseeable future. Although familiarity is often a good thing, there was a subsection of the Anaheim fanbase hoping for greater change. All three were present when the Ducks won their first and only Stanley Cup 10 years ago. Carlyle had been let go in 2011 before returning this season. His stint in Toronto was the topic of great scrutiny league-wide, but his all-time coaching record remains a sterling 410-283-93.
It’s hard to argue with his relative success this year, however. If the Ducks had lost to the upstart Oilers in the second round, perhaps this extension wouldn’t sit quite as well with fans. These Ducks had a fantastic regular season performance with Carlyle at the reigns, finishing 46-23-13. Their resilience in the post-season (exemplified by a 3-goal comeback late to win Game 5 against Edmonton) was the marvel of the league. Captain Getzlaf looked totally rejuvenated and ready to lead his team back to Finals contention, while youngsters such as Rickard Rakell and Cam Fowler made great strides in their game. Carlyle’s hard-nosed brand of hockey was adopted by this team, which got them to Game 6 of a Conference Final. Whether or not his old school mentality will lead to success long-term remains to be seen. GM Bob Murray doesn’t seem concerned, and stated his unequivocal confidence in the bench boss.
Marchant has done quite well in his front office role since he retired as a skater to don a suit back in 2011. In those 6 years, Marchant has played a large part in the successful ascendance and development of young draftees Fowler (2010), Rakell (2011), John Gibson (2011), Josh Manson (2011), Hampus Lindholm (2012), Frederik Andersen (2012), Shea Theodore (2013), Nick Ritchie (2014), and Brandon Montour (2014). His familiarity with the last two years’ draft picks will be invaluable as well, as Jacob Larsson (27th OV 2015), Julius Nattinen (59th OA 2015), and Max Jones (24th OA 2016) try to build pro careers. Assistant Trent Yawney was promoted from the Norfolk Admirals 3 seasons ago, after his head coaching career in Chicago ended in disastrous results back in 2007. Rich Preston has served has an assistant coach for multiple teams dating back to the 1990s, with a successful return to coach his hometown Regina Pats that ended in 2013.