The Anaheim Ducks have fired head coach Randy Carlyle.
The team made the announcement Sunday, placing general manager and executive vice president Bob Murray in charge of the post for the rest of the season.
“What has happened here lately and how we have played, it was time for change,” Murray said. “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.”
The Ducks are on a seven-game losing streak and are 21-26-9 overall. They’re 2-15-4 in their last 21 games and went on a 12-game losing streak that began in mid-December.
Funnily enough, Anaheim was in a playoff position back on December 18 before that streak began. They’d won 11 of 13 games then.
Murray announced plans to make a coaching change back on February 5, when Anaheim lost a 4-1 game to the Habs. That decision was ironed out after a 6-2 loss to Philadelphia Saturday, which itself capped off a five-game road trip during which the Ducks were outscored 29-7.
“I don’t think it would be fair to put anyone else in this position right now,” Murray said. “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.”
The Ducks will commence a three-game homestand against Vancouver Wednesday. They’re tied for dead-last in the Western Conference with 51 points, the same as the Los Angeles Kings and two points behind the Edmonton Oilers and Arizona Coyotes.
This will be the first time Murray has served as head coach. He’s been with Anaheim since 2005 and became the general manager in 2008.
There are some names on the list for next season, including Dallas Eakins, the coach of the Ducks’ San Diego affiliate. Some more sensational coaches are still available, too, including Joel Quenneville and Alain Vigneault.
Carlyle finishes up his tenure in Anaheim having made the post-season in seven of eight campaigns. They were 46-37 in the playoffs, but found themselves swept from the first round last year.
(Photo credit: The Associated Press/Jae C. Hong)