Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray will make his debut as the team’s interim coach Wednesday evening when it plays host to the Vancouver Canucks at Honda Center.
Murray fired coach Randy Carlyle Sunday with the team mired in a seven-game losing streak and tied for last in the NHL’s Pacific Division.
“What bothered me the most was the lack of emotion, the lack of push back,” Murray told reporters on a conference call. “This team has always been a pride team and that went away. Nothing works if you lack hard work and emotion, and it wasn’t there.”
The firing came a day after a 6-2 loss at Philadelphia dropped the Ducks record to 21-26-9. Their 51 points tie them with the Los Angeles Kings (23-27-5) for seventh in the eight-team Pacific Division.
The Ducks were second in the division entering play Dec. 18 with a 19-11-5 record, three points behind the division-leading Calgary Flames. They’ve gone 2-15-4 since then, including a 12-game winless streak from Dec. 18-Jan 15.
The Ducks minus-55 goal differential entering play Wednesday is the worst in the NHL. The Kings are the second-worst at minus-35.
“I’m looking forward to figuring out what the issues are,” Murray said. “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.”
Murray said he selected himself as the interim coach because “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,” Murray said. “I strongly felt this way. I know this is the right move for our organization right now.”
The 64-year-old Murray has no previous coaching experience.
Murray will serve as interim coach for the remainder of the season. A permanent replacement for Carlyle will be hired following the conclusion of the season.
Carlyle, 62, was in the third season of his second tenure as Ducks coach. He guided the team to the Pacific Division championship in the 2016-17 season and the Western Conference finals, where they lost to the Nashville Predators.
The Ducks were second in the Pacific Division last season and swept by the San Jose Sharks in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Ducks were 111-74-35 in Carlyle’s second stint as coach. He also coached the team from 2005-11, guiding it to its lone Stanley Cup championship in 2007, five playoff appearances and a 273-182-61 record.
Carlyle’s overall record with the Ducks was 384-256-96. He is the winningest coach in the history of the team, which began play in 1993.
Murray joined the Ducks organization before the 2005-06 season as senior vice president of hockey operations. He has been executive vice president and general manager since Nov. 12, 2008.
Murray spent his entire 15-season NHL playing career with the Chicago Blackhawks. He spent the next 10 years as a Blackhawks executive, including as general manager from 1997-99.
Murray was a professional scout with Vancouver from 1999-2005.
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