The Anaheim Ducks have lost 11 games in a row, which has prompted many to suggest that head coach Randy Carlyle should be fired and replaced by a new voice before the season unravels anymore.
But general manager Bob Murray released a statement to fans after Sunday's 4-3 overtime road loss to the Winnipeg Jets, vowing that Carlye would not be fired - adding that he's "more focused on our players."
A statement from Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Murray. pic.twitter.com/UyocDVbmjJ— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) January 14, 2019
Murray lived up to that promise on Monday when he traded forward and fan favorite Andrew Cogliano to the Dallas Stars for Devin Shore. It's the first of what will likely be a handful of roster moves from Murray as the Feb. 25 trade deadline draws closer.
And so, the many Ducks fans and critics who have called for Carlyle to be fired are not to get their wish. Murray has always had a successful and strong working relationship with Carlyle, so it's no surprise that he's giving the 62-year-old more time to fix the slumping Ducks.
Now in his ninth season with the Ducks, Carlyle led the Ducks to the Stanley Cup championship in 2007 - plus the Western Conference Finals in 2006 and 2017. He's 339-221-84 all time as Anaheim head coach. Given his long and successful track record, Carlyle isn't an easy coach to replace - perhaps another reason why Murray isn't ready to make a change.
Despite the 11-game losing skid, Anaheim sits at 19-18-9, just one point behind the Minnesota Wild for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference. With sniper Corey Perry hopefully returning at some point in the second half, the Ducks could get much-needed reinforcements as they try reaching the playoffs for a seventh straight year.
What This Means
Remember, the Ducks rehired Carlyle in the 2016 offseason, following the firing of Bruce Boudreau. Murray clearly has a lot of faith in Carlyle's ability to lead this team to another Stanley Cup championship. The latter will likely stay aboard the rest of the season, but a failure to make the playoffs might lead to a coaching change.