Anaheim Ducks Fire Randy Carlyle, Hire Bruce Boudreau
Almost two months in to what would be his seventh season in Anaheim, coach Randy Carlyle was fire and the Ducks immediately announced that they hired ex-Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau to take his place.
Although the Ducks have started their season with a record of 7-13-4, the decision to part ways was both an easy one and a difficult one for management. From a business standpoint, Carlyle led Anaheim to their first Stanley Cup championship back in 2007. Since then, however, they have not made it past the second round, and did not even qualify for the playoffs in the 2009-2010 season.
According to the Los Angeles Times, General Manager Bob Murray and Carlyle had a close friendship. Murray explained that it was difficult to see him go, "This was an extremely difficult decision. Randy is a terrific head coach and did a tremendous job for us for six-plus seasons." On the Ducks official website, Murray took a moment to thank Carlyle for all he did for the team, "We thank him greatly for his hard work and dedication to our franchise, not the least of which was a Stanley Cup championship."
However, at the end of the day what matters is fan happiness and the race for Lord Stanley. At the rate the Ducks were playing, receiving their first win Wednesday night in 19 days, the Ducks were neither making their fans happy nor were they working their way towards winning the Stanley Cup.
This coaching change comes after numerous rumors circulated that Murray was shopping Anaheim's young superstar Bobby Ryan around to other teams. These rumors showed that there was a desire for change, but this change came from behind the bench and not on it. With new coaching staff, Ryan's future is even more uncertain.
In addition to letting Carlyle go, the Ducks decided to release assistant coaches Dave Farrish and Mike Foligno, and Video Coordinator Joe Trotta.
The recently fired and recently hired Bruce Boudreau is known not only for coaching Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals for the past four years, but also for his entertaining persona he shared with the world in last year's HBO "24/7" special covering the Winter Classic.
Although Boudreau had one of the best players in the world, Ovechkin, and a winning team in Washington, he was never able to finish the deal and lead them all the way to the Stanley Cup. In his four years with the Capitals, the team never made it past the second round of the playoffs. The most embarrassing season on his resume was the 2009-2010 season in which the Capitals went in to the playoffs as the top-seeded team in the East and the President Trophy winners. They lost in seven games in the first round to the Montreal Canadiens.
Despite Boudreau's similar track record to Carlyle, Murray said regarding the new coach, "At this time, we simply felt a new voice was needed. Bruce is a proven winner with a great track record, and we are optimistic we can turn this season around under his leadership."
It is also rumored that tension and a growing rift between Boudreau and Ovechkin led to his firing from the Capitals. One particular incident that fueled these rumors was Boudreau's decision to bench Ovechkin on November 1 in the Caps game, ironically, against the Ducks. Since his dismissal, Boudreau has come out and denied reports that his troubles with Ovechkin led to his firing.
Brad Lauer has been hired as an assistant coach while the other assistant coach position remains to be filled.
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