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.