Ducks Fire Carlyle – Murray Interim Coach

On Sunday, Feb. 10, the Anaheim Ducks announced they had relieved head coach Randy Carlyle of his duties after 21-26-9 record in 56 games this season. General manager Bob Murray will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

It is the second time Murray has parted ways with Carlyle, who was in his second stint as Anaheim’s head coach and 10th season overall behind their bench. Carlyle struggled to get the team on track this season as they’ve lost 19 of their last 21 games and are last in the Western Conference with 51 points. This season came on the heels of making the playoffs in 2017 and 2018, which included a six-game loss to the Nashville Predators in the 2017 Western Conference Final.

As previously mentioned, it was Carlyle’s second stint with the Ducks, having coached them from 2006-07, when he led them to the 2007 Stanley Cup, until he was replaced by Bruce Boudreau partway through the 2010-11 season. Carlyle also spent four seasons as head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs between his two tenures in Anaheim. Murray rehired Carlyle after he fired Boudreau following the 2015-16 season. In 654 regular season games with the Ducks, Carlyle had a 341-229-84 record and got them to the postseason in seven of 10 seasons.

By firing Carlyle, Murray went against his statement on Jan. 14, when he gave Carlyle a vote of confidence and said that he wasn’t considering a coaching change. However, having dropped eight of the 10 games since that statement, and currently riding a seven-game losing streak, Murray made the change.

In Carlyle’s place, Murray named himself interim head coach despite having no coaching experience in his career. After retiring as a player following the 1990-91 season, he has been a director of player personnel, a scout and an AHL general manager before being named Ducks’ GM, a post he has held since the 2008-09 season when he replaced Brian Burke. Under his leadership, the Ducks have reached the postseason eight times in 11 seasons.

For the remainder of the season, Murray will be tasked with getting the Ducks back into the playoff race, a real possibility considering they are only six points out of the final wild card spot at the time of writing this. Yet, at the same time, he will have to make player personnel decisions with the trade deadline less than three weeks away.

At season’s end, he will likely relinquish coaching responsibilities and return to only being the team’s general manager before conducting an extensive coaching search. A search that will likely include Dallas Eakins, the head coach of the franchise’s AHL affiliate, the San Diego Gulls, currently in a playoff spot with a 25-15-5 record in 45 games.