Anaheim Ducks: Firing Bob Murray isn’t the Answer

General manager and interim head coach Bob Murray (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
General manager and interim head coach Bob Murray (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Anaheim Ducks
Anaheim Ducks head coach Dallas Eakins Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

The Coach

There isn’t much more to say about the coach that I haven’t said before. Statistically, one of the worst coaches in league history, Eakins has been behind the eight-ball his entire tenure. That he’s unable to do the job he was hired to do (develop young players) leads many to question why Murray would continue to keep him around.

Part of it may the rumor mentioned above, though in effect, I truly doubt it. I suspect that it’s more to do with a financial situation and the Anaheim Ducks being a budget team lacking the income of gate sales. If Eakins was removed now, they would be forced to pay his salary as well as the incoming coaches salary. It may simply be an expense too far in a season without ticket sales and particularly so for a team that really isn’t expected to do a great deal this season. Given the moves highlighted above, it seems likely that Murray is playing the long game with this team, and if they surprised him this season then more power to them.

Given that, perhaps Murray has decided it’s foolish to do too much when there’s no real gain to be made in the short term. If anything it’s plausible that an incoming coach would improve the team just enough to be a bubble playoff performer and not be bad enough to secure a further high draft selection.

Let’s be realistic for a moment. Are the Anaheim Ducks a strong enough team to beat the Colorado Avalanche, St Louis Blues, or Vegas Golden Knights in a best of seven series or would it merely be hoping John Gibson can shut them down to 1-goal or less each game? I think most of us, intrinsically, think it would mostly be a fools hope.

Conversely, with players such as Owen Powers available at the top end of this seasons draft, the Ducks could really have their rebuild on track. That one extra big-time defenceman, even if not a sure superstar, would allow the Ducks to potentially play a strong link game with talent on the ice more often than not, in future years.

They’d have Drysdale on one pairing, and Power on the other. Should the Ducks continue to track as they are, that option is surely open to them even should they stay as-is without making significant changes to the team . For surely, right now, they are blowin’ for Owen.

In essence, keeping Eakins around almost ensures that the Anaheim Ducks are in the driver’s seat for another top 10 draft selection. It’s a harsh reality, yet there is no doubt that the current group is both under-equipped for a playoff spot and underperforming again the talent they already have.