Ducks fire coach Randy Carlyle amid 7-game losing skid
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray tried to give Randy Carlyle as much time as possible to turn things around. But a seven-game losing streak and freefall into last place in the Western Conference showed Murray a turnaround wasn’t coming soon.
Murray announced he would take over as interim coach for the remainder of the regular season after firing Carlyle on Sunday. Anaheim will hire a new coach after the season.
“What has happened here lately and how we have played, it was time for change,” Murray said during a conference call. “Some people thought I waited far too long, but this team has a history of coming on and charging late. I realized it wasn’t going to happen a few days ago.”
After no firings last year, the Ducks are the sixth team to make a change this season, joining Los Angeles, Chicago, St. Louis, Edmonton and Philadelphia.
The 62-year-old Carlyle, the winningest coach in Ducks history, was in his second stint with Anaheim. He led the team to the Stanley Cup in 2007 and three appearances in the Western Conference Final (2006, ‘07, ‘17).
Anaheim has made the playoffs six straight seasons but won just two of its last 21 games. The Ducks were second in the Pacific Division on Dec. 18 after winning 11 of 13, but they have gone 2-15-4 since.
Saturday’s 6-2 loss at Philadelphia capped a five-game trip where the Ducks had been outscored 29-7, including 14-0 in the first period.
Murray said he approached ownership following a 4-1 loss at Montreal on Feb. 5 that he was considering making a change. Murray was scouting in Europe but returned and fired Carlyle during a Sunday morning meeting at the Honda Center.
“Bob’s obviously going to need to implement his vision of what he envisions our team doing,” Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said following Sunday’s practice. “We had a good practice, lots of talking and lots trying to understand exactly what’s going on and what he wants to see out of us.”
Amid a 12-game losing streak last month, Murray issued a statement saying he wasn’t considering a coaching change and instead was focusing on the roster.
Murray shook up the roster with a couple of trades that led to two straight wins, but another losing streak followed.
“It’s a combination of everything but what bothered me the most was the lack of emotion,” Murray said. “We’ve always pushed back. We never accept and they were accepting and that is unacceptable. We have to change that.”