It looks like the toll of losing finally was too much for the Anaheim Ducks. Despite being told that his job was secure for the remained of the year, the Anaheim Ducks have fired head coach Randy Carlyle and will replace him with Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray for the rest of the season, according to TSN’s Brennan Klak.
“We thank Randy for everything he has done for the organization, Murray said. “Leading the team to a Stanley Cup and three conference final appearances, he has accomplished so much in Anaheim. Difficult decisions need to be made when times are tough, and our play has clearly been unacceptable. We have a tradition of success in Anaheim and we need to get back to that.”
Murray, who has no coaching experience at any level but has been a three-time finalist for general manager of the year and won it in 2013-14, is expected to name a permanent coach in the offseason with San Diego Gulls head coach Dallas Eakins, and former Edmonton Oilers head coach, being the front-runner to take over, according to Klak. With the Gulls deep in a battle for a playoff run, Murray didn’t want to disrupt Eakins and his team. The 51-year-old coach has been the team’s AHL head coach since 2015.
While Murray didn’t want to make a coaching change due to the success that Carlyle has had in Anaheim over the years, the fact that the team has lost seven straight games by a margin of 37-8, was enough that the franchise felt it had to make a change. The worst of it was that the seven-game losing streak wasn’t the worst. The team had lost 12 straight between Dec. 18 through Jan. 15 and have lost 19 of their last 21 games.
Granted the team has dealt with numerous injuries as the team has been without Corey Perry for all but five games, while Patrick Eaves has missed all but seven games this season. Young winger Ondrej Kase is out for the season, after undergoing shoulder surgery and played just 30 games this season. The Ducks have been held together by the impressive play of goaltender John Gibson and kept the team relevant for the first half of the season, but he has struggled of late and the team has suffered even more. The team’s top scorer a year ago, Rickard Rakell who had 34 goals a season ago, has just nine this season and has struggled. The team has quite a few issues as they have a number of veteran players over 30 who are locked in with long-term salaries, including Perry, (two more years at $8.625MM), Ryan Getzlaf (two more years at $8.25MM), Ryan Kesler (three more years at $6.88MM). Eaves also has one more year at $3.15MM. The team has a core of younger players, but few of them have developed they way they had hoped. Many of those players are in San Diego with the AHL affiliate, another reason to keep Eakins there and help develop them now.
Carlyle had already had one stint with the Ducks’ franchise between 2005 to 2012 where he had a record of 290-182-61. He won the Stanley Cup in the 2006-07 season, but wasn’t able to get the team deep into the playoffs after that. He was rehired in the 2016-17 season, leading the team to the conference championships that year before being swept in the first round of the playoffs last year at the hands of the San Jose Sharks. He finished his second stint with a 111-74-35 record.