Brian Burke was fired today just as the lockout is drawing to a close. The General Manager who led the Ducks to the Stanley Cup is available once more, but should the Ducks rehire him, or should they stick with Bob Murray?
As general manager of the Ducks, Brian Burke led the franchise to its only Stanley Cup during the 2006-07 season. In November of 2008, Burke would leave the Ducks to become GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, leaving the helm in Anaheim to be manned by Bob Murray.
Under Murray’s management the Ducks have made the playoffs 2 out of the 4 seasons he’s managed, and what about the Maple Leafs? Well they have failed to make the playoffs every year that Burke has been their GM.
Ok so this isn’t exactly news to most hockey fans, but it doesn’t exactly get me excited about Burke suddenly being available once again. Yes he led Anaheim to the Cup, but who’s to say he would do it again? His recent track record certainly doesn’t seem to indicate the chances are good. He was after all at the helm of the most lucrative franchise in hockey, the franchise that perhaps players want to play for more then any other and still he didn’t have success. So why should we welcome him back with open arms in Anaheim?
Bob Murray on the other hand seems to get a bad rep, which I don’t think is totally deserved. Anaheim isn’t exactly the place most players want to play, (just take a look at what happened with Justin Schultz). Yet Murray has kept much of the Anaheim core intact, and recognized that some of the things put in place by Burke, needed to change.
Thank heavens we are done with the 2 scoring lines/2 checking lines system. The rest of the NHL seemed to have moved on, but until recently Anaheim was slow on the uptake. It’s understandable why Murray was slow to make the change, being that he was changing the makeup of the Ducks roster and replacing the coach that led to Anaheim’s only cup. Those are things I would be hesitant to change as well.
Yet last season’s failures clearly indicated that change needed to happen. The changes we’re talking about aren’t just a change in coaching either, but a complete change in system. Bruce Boudreau is a fantastic choice to transition the team into a 4 line system, and as an offensive mind he should be a great leader for players like Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan, and of course, Teemu Selanne.
So give Bob Murray some credit, he is making the changes the Ducks need to make to compete now and in the future. Brian Burke however went and hired Randy Carlyle last season ascoach for the Maple Leafs after the Ducks fired him. In short: it looks like Burke is hanging onto the past while Murray is pushing into the future. So for now at least, give Bob Murray a break and whatever you do, don’t re-hire Brian Burke.