A day after being placed on administrative leave, Ducks general manager Bob Murray has tendered his resignation and will enroll in an alcohol abuse program, per a team announcement. Jeff Solomon, who was named the interim GM yesterday pending an investigation into Murray, will retain that title for the time being. Murray released the following statement:
I want to apologize to anyone adversely affected by my behavior. I vow to make changes to my life, starting with enrolling in a treatment program. I want to thank Henry and Susan Samueli, and Michael Schulman, as working for them has been one of the highlights of my career. As I step away from the Ducks, I will focus my attention on where it should be: improving my life for the betterment of my family and friends.
Murray had been with the organization since 2005 when he joined them as their Senior VP of Hockey Operations and GM of their AHL affiliate which was in Portland at the time. The 66-year-old was promoted to GM midway through the 2008-09 campaign where he took over for Brian Burke, a role he had held ever since until today.
Over that stretch, Murray made a whopping 105 trades and signed 287 contracts, per CapFriendly. Among his notable signings were the eight-year deals handed to franchise mainstays Corey Perry ($69MM) and Ryan Getzlaf (66MM) which remain the richest contracts in franchise history plus the eight-year pacts that defenseman Cam Fowler ($52MM) and goaltender John Gibson ($51.2MM) are currently on, ones that have generally been viewed as team-friendly deals over the years. Anaheim made eight playoff appearances with Murray running the show, getting as far as the Western Conference Final in two of those years.
As for Solomon, he’s in his first year with Anaheim after being hired just a few months ago following 14 seasons in the front office for the Kings. It appears as if the interim GM title could very well be his through the end of the season; owners Henry and Susan Samueli indicated in a statement that they will now undergo a “methodical, extensive search” that they hope to complete no later than next summer. Accordingly, Solomon will have an opportunity to make a strong case for the full-time role; helping get Anaheim to the playoffs after missing three straight years would certainly help on that front; the Ducks are off to a good start with a 7-4-3 record early on, good enough for second in the Pacific Division and are definitely in the mix in the early going.
ESPN’s Emily Kaplan was the first to report Murray’s resignation.