The Anaheim Ducks Need Fresh Ideas in the Front Office
The Ducks, conversely, have had the same management group for over a decade. General Manager Bob Murray was the Assistant General Manager in the Ducks 2007 Cup-winning team, then made the General Manager for what was an immediate “retool.”
Murray moved out fan favorites while leaning on the burgeoning talents of the young Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. He was kept through a purple patch of playoff appearances, and now, once again, looks to be overseeing another “retool.” Perhaps this third bite at the cherry will work better than his previous two.
"“Much like my experience in Chicago as a General Manager, sometimes your first chance doesn’t go so good, you want to get back and try it again.” – Bob Murray"
Other components of the Anaheim Ducks management group, such as the recently retired David McNabb, have been with the team for 28 years. Newly minted Assistant General Manager, Martin Madden, has also been with the Ducks a long time in his scouting roles.
Thus the question should be asked, “where are the fresh ideas coming from?” Bob Murray oversaw a “retool” that essentially relied upon the young superstars Getzlaf, Perry, and Bobby Ryan. There’s no doubt that he drafted well on defense, acquiring Cam Fowler and Hampus Lindholm through the draft at various stages.
Yet, a further question of “do the Ducks need to retool or rebuild in earnest?” should be asked. There are no young superstars on the roster for the Ducks to build around, aside from potentially the very young Trevor Zegras.
However, Bob Murray seems convinced that this is a roster that is capable of becoming a playoff team as it’s currently built. Is that the ideology that the Ducks should be pursuing at this point in time? what is their culture internally? What are they building towards? How are they building it?
As stated above, the moves the Anaheim Ducks have made are largely the same types of moves they’ve made each and every year, whether they’ve been in playoff contention or wallowing at the bottom of the standings.
What becomes notable is the differences between the teams mentioned. The Nets are in a position of power and thus their ownership has elected to keep the same management group. The Rangers, perhaps underachieved compared to their desires and ownership, made sweeping changes the moment the season was over.
Loyalty to “family” wasn’t a consideration, as they acted quickly to remove a beloved figure within the organization. What happens now is debatable, yet it can be said that the Rangers acted swiftly instead of sitting idly watching their “family” make mistakes they thought they could remedy.
It can certainly be said that Jeff Gorton’s track record isn’t dissimilar to Bob Murray’s. Both have made some great trades in their time and both have had some complete and utter misfires.
Despite anyone’s commentary, it’s very likely that both fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum when evaluating GMs. There are always some who are outstanding and always some who are utterly awful. Neither Gorton nor Murray fits into these categories.
Given the similarity of GMs, and that one team has opted to make changes, are we to believe that the Ducks culture is exactly where the owners want it to be and that it doesn’t need changing? At some point in the very near future, this is a question that ownership will need to ask themselves.