Anaheim Ducks: Is Bob Murray Finally Committing to a Rebuild?

Anaheim Ducks interim head coach Bob Murray Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Anaheim Ducks interim head coach Bob Murray Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /

He finally said it. The word “rebuild” actually came out of Bob Murray‘s mouth. From re-tool to contenders, the Anaheim Ducks could finally be committing to a rebuild we all knew was inevitable since they were swept by the San Jose Sharks in the first round of the 2018 Stanely Cup Playoffs.

"“As for next year, we’ve talked and we’re going to see how he feels after this year. We’ll see how his body feels. We’ll see how it’s going. You know, he may just say, ‘I don’t want to keep going through this rebuild we’re doing here.’ But the relationship is wonderful and he’s not going anywhere.” –Bob Murray on Ryan Getzlaf’s Future with the Anaheim Ducks"

For the past two seasons, fans have been patiently waiting for Murray to hop on board the rebuild train. We already knew it was coming, it was just a matter of the Anaheim Ducks finally coming out with it.

Yet, Murray dragged it out, trying a re-tool on the fly, having a big liquidation sale at the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline, and then bringing in Kevin Shattenkirk as a fix-all that would have them set sail for the playoffs once again.

Murray Couldn’t Commit

Nevertheless, the re-tool didn’t work; the Anaheim Ducks finishing 6th in the Pacific Division in 2020 with 64 points and a 29-33-9 record. Murray did a good job accruing assets at the trade deadline, bringing in younger players like Sonny Milano, Danton Heinen, and drafting Jacob Perreault and Thimo Nickl with draft picks acquired from the Boston Bruins (in the Ondrej Kase trade) and the Philadelphia Flyers (in the Derek Grant trade).

Drafting Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale with the 9th and 6th overall picks in the 2019 and 2020 NHL Entry Drafts is a good foundation set for a rebuilding team. However, GMBM was still not committed.

After trying to bring in Kevin Shattenkirk in the 2020-21 offseason via free-agency, Shattenkirk went to Tampa Bay, winning the Stanley Cup. Murray gave it one last try and was able to sign the Stanely Cup champion to a three-year, $11,700,000, contract.

While the words did not come directly from the horse himself, Kevin Shattenkirk made statements to the media that suggested Murray was expecting nothing less than the playoffs from the Anaheim Ducks in 2019-20. A tough feat for a team that didn’t even make it into the Stanely Cup qualifiers the season prior, but the words stuck with fans.

"“What he expressed to me is he’s tired of this rebuilding situation. He wants to be in the playoffs next year, and he felt I was someone who would be part of that plan.” –Kevin Shattenkirk"

Are the Anaheim Ducks Embracing a Rebuild?

If GMBM is finally ready to embrace a rebuild in Anaheim, this comes with a mixed bag of emotions. It means that things are going to be quite painful in OC for the next few years. Nevertheless, the end goal should be creating a team that can actually compete. The Ducks already have a few good foundational pieces laid, but they have to fix the cracks.

More from Ducks News

Who knows how much longer Murray is going to be in Anaheim. His contract expires with the conclusion of the season. However, Henry and Susan seem to have full confidence in him. With that being said, all fans have really wanted this season was a little direction, and it seems as though Murray has finally given in.

However, just because Murray said the word rebuild doesn’t mean he is fully committed. I expect that the moves he makes in the next few months with the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline and the Seattle Expansion Draft coming up to reflect his intentions with the Anaheim Ducks moving forward.

Regardless, change needs to happen in Anaheim. Change behind the bench, change in the front office, and changes on the roster. Whether Murray is at the helm or not during this impending rebuild remains to be seen. But recognition is definetly a positive step in the right direction.

Next. Prospect Spotlight: Jamie Drysdale. dark

Are you a passionate Anaheim Ducks fan that loves reading Pucks of a Feather? If so, we would love to have you on board as a contributor! Just follow the link above for more information on how to join the crew.