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Category: Bob Murray

Ex-Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle: Experience was positive, firing wasn't

Randy-carlyle_600

Randy Carlyle, who coached the Ducks to the Stanley Cup in 2007 but was fired Wednesday because of the team's prolonged struggles, said Saturday he has been traveling "an emotional road" since his dismissal and will take a brief fishing trip to Northern California before considering his hockey future.

"We'll see," he said when asked if he expects to coach in the NHL again. "I'm working on putting one foot in front of another for the next couple of days."

Carlyle's last game was a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday, which ended the Ducks' seven-game losing streak. However, General Manager Bob Murray had decided that no matter the outcome, he would dismiss Carlyle and replace him with Bruce Boudreau, the former Washington Capitals coach.

Boudreau lost his Ducks debut when the team squandered a three-goal lead and lost, 4-3, in overtime Friday. It was much like many of the games Carlyle coached this season, in fact, with a team that lacks depth and discipline.

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Ducks acquire Kurtis Foster in trade for Andy Sutton

Foster3 While waiting to hear from the Kings on where they stand in the Brad Richards chase, here’s an update on the Ducks.

They didn't get the third- or fourth-line help they were seeking in the free-agent market, but they did trade defensemen with Edmonton, sending Andy Sutton to the Oilers for Kurtis Foster. Sutton has one year left at a salary cap hit of $2,125,000, and Foster has one year left at $1.8 million.

Sutton had four assists in 39 games with the Ducks last season. Foster, 29, had eight goals and 22 points in 74 games with the Oilers and ranked second on the team with five power-play goals and second in shots, with 182.

"He's a power-play guy with a big shot," Ducks General Manager Bob Murray said. "We wanted to change things up" on the power play.

Murray said he had looked at some free agents but was "scared away" by the long-term deals being given out. "Nothing drastic got away," he said.

He also said the pace and money spent Friday caught him off guard.

"I'm always surprised, but I shouldn't be anymore," he said. "Every year it's the same thing. Some of us just can't compete in that market."

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-- Helene Elliott

Photo: Former Edmonton Oilers defenseman Kurtis Foster, right, collides with Tampa Bay forward Dana Tyrell during a 2010-11 preseason game. Credit: John Ulan / Associated Press

Bob Murray, Rob Blake to join Team Canada staff

Murr Ducks General Manager Bob Murray and former King defenseman Rob Blake were named to the executive staff of Team Canada for the World Championships, which will be played April 29-May 15 in the Slovakian cities of Bratislava and Kosice.

Team Canada's general manager will be David Nonis, the senior vice president of hockey operations for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The scheduling appears to pose a conflict for Murray if the Ducks make the playoffs -- they’re eighth in the West as of Thursday afternoon -- but a team spokeswoman said there won’t be a problem if the Ducks qualify for postseason play. Murray’s main responsibility is to help pick the team and he’s not required to be in Slovakia. Should the Ducks be competing in the playoffs his duties with Team Canada would be secondary to his responsibilities with the Ducks.

It’s interesting watching Blake become increasingly involved in hockey at the executive level and moving along the fast-track toward becoming an influential figure in the game.

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Kings waive Marco Sturm, Ducks extend GM Bob Murray

Sturm_400 The local hockey teams made some news early Friday, when the Kings placed left wing Marco Sturm on waivers and the Ducks announced they had signed General Manager Bob Murray to a four-year contract extension through the 2015-16 season.

Sturm played on the Kings’ top line Thursday night in their 4-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild and had an assist, but he had bounced around from line to line since he was acquired from the Boston Bruins. He had four goals and nine points in 17 games.

The German-born winger never met the Kings’ expectations, which were unreasonably high in the light of the major reconstructive knee surgery he underwent last spring. It usually takes players a year to fully recover from that kind of procedure and for a player whose game depends on speed as much as Sturm’s does, losing even a half-step can reduce his effectiveness. He’s not a bad guy or bad influence in the locker room.

Waiving him could be the first step toward another move or just an effort to see if anyone is willing to take Sturm and what’s left of his $3.5-million salary. The Kings could still use a productive winger and have been looking around in advance of Monday's NHL trade deadline, though they have yet to make a move.

Murray’s extension was something of a surprise. The Ducks missed the playoffs last season and are outside the top eight in the West at the moment in the constantly changing Western Conference standings, though their recent slide can be attributed to the apparent case of vertigo that has plagued goaltender Jonas Hiller.

Murray took over for Brian Burke in 2008 and inherited a team that had no salary cap space and no prospects, putting him in a difficult situation. He has helped rebuild the organization’s depth, but the on-ice results have been mixed and the Ducks might miss the playoffs for a second straight season.

More later at Latimes.com/sports.

-- Helene Elliott 

Photo: Marco Sturm. Credit: Harry How / Getty Images

Ducks GM Murray says Carlyle's job is safe. Does the same go for players' jobs?

Carlyle Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle has been a popular pick in the first-coach-to-be-fired pool, but General Manager Bob Murray said Monday it's not Carlyle's fault the team is 14th in the West and near the bottom of the overall league standings.

"We're not letting the players off the hook ... ," Murray said.

"He’s a good coach. His record proves that. It’s more our people. I’m getting tired of watching them looking for excuses, feeling sorry for themselves. Yes, the schedule has been tough but so has everybody else’s in this bloody league, especially the Western Conference.

"I daresay he’s more upset the way they’re playing than they are themselves, which in itself is a huge question there. Why is that?"

The Ducks on Wednesday will begin a stretch in which they play three straight games and five of their next six at home -- and their opponents include East-leading Tampa Bay, always dangerous Pittsburgh and scrappy Nashville. Murray said the next few weeks will be critical for the team -- and for him in deciding if he's sure he has the right players.

"They got a little while longer to convince me if they want to stay here," he said. "I'm going to watch this homestand very carefully. This homestand last year is where the season got away from us. This exact homestand right now. And I expect to see some desperation."

More on Murray and the Ducks in my weekly NHL column, which will be posted at Latimes.com/sports.

Also, with several forwards plagued by nagging injuries, the Ducks recalled center Nick Bonino from Syracuse of the American Hockey League. He had two goals and nine points in eight games.

-- Helene Elliott

Photo: Randy Carlyle. Credit: Carlos Osorio / Associated Press

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