The Anaheim Ducks finally had enough and fired Randy Carlyle. They have since not played a regular season game since his firing.
Anaheim will step onto the ice for the first time under the leadership of General Manager/Vice-President and new Head Coach Bob Murray. Murray has never coached before but is a former player with the Chicago Blackhawks. The belief is that Murray will ride the season out before Anaheim’s front office finds a replacement head coach in the off-season.
The Ducks are at home tonight after a terrible Canadian road trip that saw them take losses in every game they played. The Vancouver Canucks are in-town tonight.
What’s interesting for the Ducks is that they have decided to cancel all morning skates. Some think that this is a sign of Anaheim giving up, but other rumors are that this is a test by Murray. Allegedly, he wants to see who will still show up to the rink and get a skate in despite the current woes the Ducks are dealing with. It wouldn’t be out of the question from Ryan Getzlaf to ensure that players show up to the rink as well for morning skates.
When asked about the Ducks’ leadership, Murray commented, saying: “There are leaders and there are followers. I got too many guys following and I think there should be people leading here. One of the biggest things I have to determine here is if I have people that can do that. I thought we did and I haven’t given up on them, but I’m obviously very worried.”
Carlyle’s firing may be a relief for the roster, but the real test begins right now. Murray is able to trade or send down a player at a moment’s notice, so no player can take a shift off until the off-season. It will be interesting to see how the team reacts or if they are walking on eggshells, especially with the trade deadline looming.
Was it the right call for the Ducks to send Murray behind the bench? Murray didn’t want to bring a new coach into Anaheim when the team wasn’t ready and it’ll be interesting to see how the Ducks respond.