Murray confirmed the organization’s decisions on Friday, nearly three weeks after Anaheim (17-30-9) ended the worst season in franchise history in points percentage.
Murray has led the Ducks front office since November 2008, while Eakins ended two losing seasons behind the Anaheim bench. The franchise is at a low point after finishing second to last in the NHL while missing the playoffs in three straight years for the first time since 2002, but Murray remains confident he can bring the Ducks back to competition.
“There’s been a lot of talk about this lost season, and I don’t totally agree with that,” said Murray. “Some of the young guys got along really well, and a couple didn’t. A few middle-aged guys have wasted a few years. But every time you go through that call it rebuild, rearrange, remodel, reset – whatever you call it, it’s a plan. … We want to make a team that is faster, younger, and they play an exciting brand of hockey that our fans want to come and see play. “
Owners Henry and Susan Samueli remain confident in Murray and his leadership group even after the Ducks finished bottom in the league in goals for the second time in three years. Their power play only scored 8.9% of the time – the lowest percentage in modern NHL history – and Murray stopped just before confirming that Eakins will have a new assistant coach to oversee the game. ‘unit.
But the dismal results on the ice did not yet reflect the optimism felt by Murray and many Ducks players about their young core built around Trevor Zegras, Jamie Drysdale, Max Comtois, Isac Lundestr? M and Troy Terry, between other. Murray believes he has put together some ingredients for a winner, and he intends to add to them during a busy offseason.
“Two of these young players from our organization will be in the top six forwards,” said Murray. “I think our young goalkeepers in the organization played very well. … You fill boxes when you build a hockey team, and I know some of these kids are going to fill those boxes now. “
The Ducks are still unsure of the future of captain Ryan Getzlaf, whose contract is ongoing this offseason. The 36-year-old playmaker has spent his entire career in Anaheim, and Murray recently sat down with Getzlaf to discuss his plans.
“He’s clearly at a point in his career where he needs to take a step back and see what’s best for his family and what he thinks his role can be,” Murray said. “We discussed roles on the hockey team. Ryan and I have discussed a lot of things, and we will continue to have discussions.
After finishing ahead of just Buffalo in the NHL combined standings, the Ducks have a 12.1% chance of getting the No. 1 pick in franchise history. Anaheim cannot fall below fourth place, which means the club are guaranteed to have their highest draft pick since picking Bobby Ryan second overall in 2005.
But the Ducks have been unlucky in recent draft lotteries, prompting Murray to think “it could be a win so that change doesn’t fall because every year we fall.”
The Ducks have a long history of strong drafting and player development under Murray, and he’s not upset that his offensive-challenged team hold a high pick in a draft with mostly defensemen and goalies seen as his. best hopes.
“We’re going to take, as we’ve always done, the best player,” Murray said. “We will not make our list by position. The best player available, and as that goes on you still can – defenders are always valuable to move around. Everyone needs defense.