Ducks dismiss Carlyle, GM Bob Murray steps behind bench
Losers of 7 in a row, Anaheim sits last in NHL's Western Conference
The Anaheim Ducks, who have dropped seven consecutive games, fired head coach Randy Carlyle on Sunday.
The NHL team also announced Bob Murray as his replacement on an interim basis for the balance of the regular season. Anaheim will name a new coach following the season.
"Difficult decisions need to be made when times are tough, and our play has clearly been unacceptable," Murray, 64, said in a statement. "We have a tradition of success in Anaheim and we need to get back to that."
The Ducks entered play Sunday in last place in the Western Conference with a 21-26-9 record, having lost 19 times in a 21-game stretch.
The 62-year-old Carlyle, who was born in Sudbury, Ont., was in his second stint with Anaheim and guided the club to the playoffs in seven of his eight full seasons. He leaves with a regular-season record of 384-256-96.
Carlyle, who was fired as head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs in January 2015, broke into the NHL with the team as a player in the 1976-77 season and went on to play for Pittsburgh and Winnipeg. He is the only person in league history to reach 1,000 games as a player and serve as head coach for 900-plus contests.
The 64-year-old Murray, who hails from Kingston, Ont., is a three-time finalist for NHL GM of the year and won in 2014. He is the longest-tenured and winningest GM in Ducks history with 445 victories in 825 games.
He is signed through 2022 after agreeing to a two-year contract extension on Dec. 8.
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.
Murray, on his decision to step in as interim coach:<br><br>"It's my job. I'm looking forward to figuring out what the issues are. One of the biggest things I have to determine is if we have people who can (lead). I haven't given up on them yet, but I'm worried."—@AnaheimDucks
Saturday's 4-2 loss at Philadelphia capped a five-game road trip where the Ducks had been outscored 29-7, including 14-0 in the first period.
"You don't expect to have to live through this stuff for an extended period of time," Carlyle said after the loss.
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.
With files from The Associated Press