Ducks fire Car­lyle amid seven-game los­ing streak

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By JOE REEDY AP Sports Writer

Ana­heim Ducks gen­eral man­ager Bob Murray tried to give Randy Car­lyle as much time as pos­si­ble to turn things around. But a seven-game los­ing streak and freefall into last place in the West­ern Con­fer­ence showed Murray that a turn­around wasn’t com­ing soon.

Murray an­nounced that he would take over as in­terim coach for the re­main­der of the reg­u­lar sea­son af­ter fir­ing Car­lyle on Sun­day. Ana­heim will hire a new coach fol­low­ing the sea­son.

“What has hap­pened here lately and how we have played, it was time for change,” Murray said dur­ing a con­fer­ence call. “Some people thought I waited far too long but this team has a his­tory of com­ing on and charg­ing late. I re­al­ized it wasn’t go­ing to hap­pen a few days ago that it wasn’t go­ing to hap­pen.”

Af­ter no fir­ings last year, the Ducks are the sixth team to make a change this sea­son, join­ing Los An­ge­les, Chicago, St. Louis, Ed­mon­ton and Philadel­phia.

Car­lyle, 62, the win­ningest coach in Ducks his­tory, was in his sec­ond stint with Ana­heim. He led the team to the Stan­ley Cup in 2007 and three ap­pear­ances in the West­ern Con­fer­ence Fi­nal (2006, 2007, 2017).

Ana­heim has made the play­offs six straight sea­sons but won just two of its last 21 games. The Ducks were sec­ond in the Pa­cific Di­vi­sion on Dec. 18 af­ter win­ning 11 of 13, but they have gone 2-15-4 since.

Satur­day’s 6-2 loss at Philadel­phia capped a fiveg­ame trip where the Ducks had been outscored 29-7, in­clud­ing 14-0 in the first pe­riod.

Murray said he ap­proached own­er­ship fol­low­ing a 4-1 loss at Mon­treal on Feb. 5 that he was con­sid­er­ing mak­ing a change. Murray was scout­ing in Europe, but re­turned and fired Car­lyle dur­ing a Sun­day morn­ing meet­ing at the Honda Cen­ter.

Amid a 12-game los­ing streak last month, Murray is­sued a state­ment say­ing he wasn’t con­sid­er­ing a coach­ing change and in­stead was fo­cus­ing on the ros­ter.

Murray shook up the ros­ter with a cou­ple of trades that led to two straight wins, but another los­ing streak fol­lowed.

“It’s a com­bi­na­tion of ev­ery­thing but what both­ered me the most was the lack of emo­tion,” Murray said. “We’ve al­ways pushed back. We never ac­cept and they were ac­cept­ing and that is un­ac­cept­able. We have to change that.”

Murray has been with Ana­heim since 2005 and has been the gen­eral man­ager since 2008. He signed a two-year ex­ten­sion in De­cem­ber and is un­der con­tract through the 2021-22 sea­son.

Murray be­came the fifth per­son in NHL his­tory to both play and serve 1,000 games as a GM, but this is the first time he will be be­hind the bench as a coach. Murray said it wasn’t fair to name any­one else as the in­terim coach. He is also tak­ing over the coach­ing reigns with two weeks re­main­ing un­til the trade dead­line on Feb. 25, which should al­low some time to get a bet­ter gage on the ros­ter.

Ana­heim’s next three games are at home, be­gin­ning Wed­nes­day against Van­cou­ver.

“It’s my job. We have prob­lems here and it has to be fixed,” Murray said. “It’s more prob­lem­atic than I thought, and the only way it was fair to any­one was com­ing down here and find­ing out ev­ery­thing go­ing on.”

Dal­las Eakins, who is the coach of the Ducks’ AHL af­fil­i­ate in San Diego, would be among the fa­vorites to be con­sid­ered for the job go­ing into next sea­son. Eakins is in his fourth sea­son in San Diego. He does have NHL coach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence with less than two sea­sons in Ed­mon­ton.

The Ducks made the play­offs in seven of Car­lyle’s eight full sea­sons with the team, go­ing 46-37 in the post­sea­son. They were swept out of the first round last sea­son.

Car­lyle pre­vi­ously coached the Toronto Maple Leafs. He went 384-25696 in 736 games with Ana­heim. He is the only per­son in NHL his­tory with over 1,000 games played and 900 or more games coached. His ca­reer mark be­hind the bench is 475-334-115..

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.