When the Anaheim Ducks fired head coach Randy Carlyle earlier today, many were a bit surprised when Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray named himself the interim coach. The general manager has never been behind the bench, but made it clear in a press conference earlier today that he wants to see things for himself.
“I think this is the only way for me to determine what all the problems are,” Murray said (via Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston). “I don’t think it would be fair to put anybody else in this position right now.”
The Ducks are mired in a horrible slump in which it has won just twice in the last 21 games and have had multiple embarrassing losses recently as they have been outscored 37-8 in their most recent seven-game losing streak. Murray said that Carlyle’s fate was decided last Tuesday after the team’s loss in Montreal. However, with the look that the team has given up on the season, Murray has said that he wants to see for himself where the problems lie.
“It’s my job. I’m looking forward to figuring out what the issues are,” Murray said (via the Ducks). “One of the biggest things I have to determine is if we have people who can (lead). I haven’t given up on them yet, but I’m worried. I don’t think it would be fair to put anyone else in this position right now. I felt I needed to be in the trenches. I strongly felt this way. I know this is the right move for our organization right now. In order to win, you need to have people who aren’t afraid of the adversity. That’s what I’m looking for.”
On top of coaching duties now, Murray also must solve several roster dilemmas as the team has gotten old and slow and need an influx of young talent. With the trade deadline, Murray wants to get a good look at what he wants to hold onto and what he will likley move on from. The team has a number of veterans with big contracts, including Corey Perry, Ryan Kesler, Ryan Getzlaf and Patrick Eaves. However, although it would be challenging to move their contracts, Murray said he isn’t afraid to ask them whether they want to leave.
“I have no fear whatsoever in asking them myself,” Murray said.
Murray doesn’t feel the team needs a full-fledged rebuild as there is already quite a bit of talent in their minor league system as they have a number of top forwards close to joining the franchise, including Isac Lundestrom, Max Comtois, Sam Steel, Max Jones and Troy Terry amongst many. Regardless of the outcome of the season, Murray said the coaching search will start the minute that this season ends.
If he can’t figure out the issues from being around the team all the time as GM and VP how is he going to as coach? Maybe he won’t make 5 roster moves a day and allow the team to form some chemistry. He basically laid this all on Carlyle which is a bush league move. Stating he doesn’t know what the issues are tells you all you need to know about what the issues are
“What a mess! Whose fault is this???”
I feel bad for those 2 teams who lost to the Ducks in the last 21 games.
Well, I do like him saying that it’s not fair to put anyone else in that spot…
Smart move by Murray. GMs don’t make all the road trips, aren’t in the locker room all the time. Except second-hand, they don’t know who is defying the coaches, who is quietly spreading their negative influences. Other GMs have done this to evaluate their teams—Bob Gainey comes to mind. Murray can now learn if the problems are rooted in Carlyle’s system and/or biases or player attitudes are the problem. Murray’s move is that of a smart leader, looking to see who his locker room leaders—and detractors—are. I’m just relieved (as a Ducks fan) Carlyle is finally gone.
How delusional do you have to be? He makes 90% of the road games. He put the team together. He put this team together. This is all on him. He has had one above average draft since he became GM. He has traded away players that are better than the players he kept.