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 interim coach and general manager Bob Murray Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Lack of Direction or Laying a Good Foundation for the Anaheim Ducks?

If the Anaheim Ducks really have designs upon a championship window in the future, some short-term pain, in an already shortened season, could be the ticket to get there. Following this season, maybe they consider ripping the band-aid right off, however, right now, I don’t necessarily think Murray has placed a step too out of position.

After all, the list of accomplishments and things crossed of his to-do list currently sits as follows:

  1. Rebuild prospect pool
  2. Find potential superstar
  3. Create prospect pool depth at all positions
  4. Develop current prospect group
  5. Maintain future draft capital
  6. Find high draft pick for future drafts (it’ll be their own)
  7. Create roster flexibility moving forward
  8. Financial flexibility in future
  9. Flexibility to create trade assets
  10. Protect key pieces from Kraken Expansion draft.

His failures on that list are as follows:

  1. Build a fun-to-watch hockey team that people will pay to go see.

As it stands, the success on Murray’s to-do list in building that future Stanley Cup contender is in better shape than the failures. If I’m honest, that fun-to-watch team he’s failed to build is a huge negative, but is it as negative as it would be in a season in which people could actually go to the games?

Perhaps, the failure isn’t as great as it could maybe have been. If anything, it could be said he’s taking advantage of a lost season. Whether he’s maximising the opportunity is another matter entirely, yet right now, I hesitate to say he’s done us fans dirty. At least if the goal is to contend in the future.

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Whether Murray is the man to continue towards that future, I simply don’t know. We could do better, I’m sure. We could do far worse, I’m also very sure of. From prior experience, I would suggest not, and I do think management should change every so often. Much of the Ducks front office has been there for the past decade. It may be time to bring in new blood, and no, Martin Madden would not count as new blood in my mind, no matter his talents.

But, that’s our future problem. Today, I think we should focus on what we have in the hand. I do think Murray should talk to the media about his plans, as I believe it would ease a lot of minds. If he came out and said they were still rebuilding this season, would you buy it? If he said they wanted one more high draft pick now the Anaheim Ducks are in this position would you embrace that? If he said he wanted to turn Corey Perry and David Backes money into a big-time UFA/RFA in the next two seasons would you bite on that? What if he gave a clear statement about Zegras and companies progression into the NHL?

Murray shoots himself in the foot withholding himself from the media, and in many cases, it may be for the best given his lack of charisma as a media personality. Yet, for a fan base suffering and starved of entertainment, a clear direction would be a godsend. Murray has laid the foundations, seemingly out of nowhere, for a successful rebuild to be realised.

He needs to communicate where to from here. It’s his last season at the helm under his current contract and perhaps both he and the Anaheim Ducks owners need some reminding that in the end, the team is owned by the fans. We pay the way and support their successes and failures. Every company on the stock exchange communicates to its shareholders and it’s high past time the Anaheim Ducks did that for us too.

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